The Misadventure of the Romantic Cannibals
Region: North America
Subject: Sexual Content , Religion
Artist: Enrique Chagoya
Confronting Bodies: Kathleen Folden and The Loveland Museum/Gallery
Dates of Action: 2010
Location: Loveland, Colorado, United States
Description of Artwork: The work is a 12-panel lithograph that uses comic book characters, Mexican pornography, Mayan symbols, and ethnic stereotypes. One of the most controversial images depicted Jesus Christ receiving oral sex from a man, among other controversial images of Christian figures.
The Incident: The piece of art was on display at the Loveland Museum/Gallery since September 10, 2010. Some Loveland residents picketed outside of the museum, arguing that tax money should not be spent on a "hate crime." Loveland city councilor Daryle Klassen said he objected to the use of taxpayer dollars to pay for the exhibit. In October, Kathleen Folden, 56, of Kalispell, Montana, destroyed part of the piece with a crowbar. The part she destroyed included Jesus Christ engaged in a sex act.
Results of Incident: The museum has seen a rise in the number of visitors visiting the museum due to the controversy. The piece of art was removed from the Loveland Museum for safety concerns. Chagoya expressed his disappointment that his work will not be on display again in Loveland. The artist stated that "It will be a loss for everybody, not just for me, but for everybody that believes in the First Amendment."
UPDATE: The exhibition ended after a suspect identified as Kathleen Folden of Kalispell, Montana, used a crowbar to break the plexiglass covering the artwork, and then tore it to pieces.