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Reaction To "Gross" Statue Forces Catholic School To Cover It

An Australian Catholic school has been slammed after unveiling a statue that seems to show a young boy performing an improper sexual act on a canonized saint. The school in question, Blackfriars Priory School, is located in the suburbs of Adelaide, in South Australia.

The school recently held a special ceremony to honor the unveiling of the new statue, which depicts Saint Martin de Porres holding out a loaf of bread to a smiling boy kneeling on the ground and reaching up to take the offering.

Unfortunately, the sculptor placed the loaf of bread close to the crotch of the saint. As the bread design has no distinguishing features, the loaf is easily confused with a phallus.

The principal of Blackfriars Priory School, Simon Corbiac, has reluctantly bowed down to the pressure, writing a tense apology on the school’s Facebook page.

“The two-dimensional concept plans for the statue were viewed and approved by the Executive Team in May but upon arrival the three-dimensional statue was deemed by the Executive to be potentially suggestive,” wrote Principal Corbiac.

According to The Huffington Post, the statue was commissioned by the school and sculpted in Vietnam. Unsurprisingly, administrators at Blackfriars Priory School have since approached a local artist, asking them to redesign the controversial sculpture.

The statue was hidden behind a black shroud when images of the suggestive piece began circulating on student Facebook pages. When local and national media outlets began reporting on the unveiling, school officials placed the statue behind a prefabricated black fence.

Australian journalists, locals and artists have reacted to the incident with a mixture of humor and astonishment. “When you should have got Michelangelo to sculpt your school statue...#Adelaide,” wrote local broadcast journalist, Michael Smyth, in a now-viral tweet.

Another social media user, a local artist in Adelaide, Driller Jet Armstrong, scored laughs in an interview with 7 News after saying, “It’s hilarious. It’s absolutely hilarious. I love it. I love an art scandal.” the HuffPost reports that Mr. Armstrong had no involvement with the disturbing statue design and has not been contacted to work on the redesign.

Other commenters were stunned that the school’s executive board allowed such a statue, particularly following the revelations about the prolific sexual abuse of minors by Catholic priests around the world.

“AN ADELAIDE CATHOLIC SCHOOL HAD TO COVER UP THIS STATUE OF A SAINT HANDING SOME BREAD TO A YOUNG BOY I WILL GIVE YOU 1 GUESS AS TO WHY,” wrote Mat Whitehead on Twitter.

The saint in the sculpture, none other than Martin de Porres, was originally canonized by Pope John XXIII and spent 60 years living in Peru between 1579 and 1639. According to the HuffPost, Saint Martin de Porres is the “patron saint of the mixed race, barbers, public health workers and innkeepers.”

After being born into Spanish nobility, Saint de Porres was enslaved in his early life. The former nobleman was later freed and spent years campaigning for compassion and the rights of the downtrodden.

Source: HuffPost
Photos: YouTube, Reddit, Google Maps

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