The Catholic League is calling for a boycott of the Roger Smith Hotel in New York City, after its Lab Gallery decided to display a 6-foot tall nude and anatomically correct sculpture of the crucified Christ in milk chocolate. World-renowned artist Cosimo Cavallaro titles his work “My Sweet Lord.”
The Roger Smith Hotel, located on street level in the heart of New York City, will display Cavallaro’s chocolate creation from April 1 to 7. The exhibit will be viewed from the street.
Matt Semler, creative director of the Lab, calls it Cavallaro’s “most dramatic piece of his career.” It is made with over 200 pounds of chocolate, which has been donated by the San Francisco based Theo Chocolate Company.
The Lab’s press release for the exhibit includes a picture of the chocolate sculpture, which has the caption: “Jesus, The 485,460-Calorie Messiah.”
“As I’ve said many times before, Lent is the season for non-believers to sow seeds of doubt about Jesus. What’s scheduled to go on at the Roger Smith Hotel, however, is of a different genre: this is hate speech,” said Catholic League president Bill Donohue. “And choosing Holy Week—the display opens on Palm Sunday and ends on Holy Saturday—makes it a direct in-your-face assault on Christians.”
Organizers “are lucky that angry Christians don’t react the way extremist Muslims do when they’re offended,” said Donohue.
“And if he tries to spin this as reverential,” he said, referring to James Knowles, president and CEO of the Roger Smith Hotel, “then he should substitute Muhammad for Jesus and display him during Ramadan.”
Donohue said he is contacting scores of Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist and Hindu organizations, as well as secular groups concerned about religious hate speech and the degradation of culture, to launch a boycott of the hotel.
“The only thing that those who operate the Roger Smith Hotel understand is when they get hit in the pocket book. So that’s exactly where we’ll hit them,” Dononhue said.
The exhibit is cosponsored by artnet, the respected on-line art gallery and art magazine.
A picture is available on the Internet. (Click here.)