Saturday, January 28, 2012

Madrid refuses to withdraw the “blasphemous” photo

The news agency ACI Prensa has declared that the active citizens’ web-platform Hazteoir urged the Mayor of Madrid, Ana Botella, to withdraw a blasphemous photo showing actor Asier Etxeandia with the painting of Christ by Velázquez covering his genitals.

The photo is part of the exhibition “Camerinos”,  which took photographer Sergio Parra twelve years of his professional career .

The exhibition includes fifty images on foil sheets, 1.50 x 2.25 metres, the pictures were taken without any preparation and without any subsequent retouching.

The images show various theatre, dance and music performers moments before going on stage. 

The black and white photos show luxury dressing rooms, make-shift dressing rooms, world renowned artists and emerging talent. 
The members of Hazteoir and other groups like and AES demand that the Mayor  withdraw the black and white photo taken by Sergio Parra called ‘Infierno’ (hell) from the exhibition at the Teatro Español (in Plaza de Santa Ana). 

The photo shows the subject with his arms above his head and a ‘wound  in his side’.

After being displayed at the Merida Theatre Festival, in July 2011 the photo was withdrawn following the decision of the Estremadura committee. 

In that instance the complaints forced the president José Antonio Monago to order the withdrawal.
The exhibition in the Teatro Español,  which still includes the photo, opened Friday and since then it has received several complaints.  

The spokesperson of, Olga Cuquerella said that the Mayor of Madrid , Ana Botella, has been asked to withdraw the photo immediately. 

The petition was signed by 20,000 people. 

According to Europa press, the spokeswoman declared the image offensive to ‘ religious feelings’ and said that it ‘ attacked the right of Christians “to require respect for their symbols”.

She added that she hopes the mayor will accept this petition following the example of Josè Antonio Monago, taking stock of what happened with the exhibition during the Merida Theatre Festival”.  
The petition, which can be accessed on the website, says:
 Mrs. Ana Botella, I do not want blasphemous exhibitions to be organized with my contribution. I demand for the photo entitled ‘Infierno’, currently showing at the Teatro Español, of which you are in charge, to be withdrawn from the exhibition because it is detrimental to religious feelings and the right of Christians to require respect for their symbols. Following the citizens’ appeal, the photo was withdrawn by José A. Monago. I beg you to do the same. Regards