.- A French judge ruled yesterday that an ad campaign based on Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper is offensive to Catholics and ordered the ads removed.
Judge Jean-Claude Magendie agreed with the French Catholic Church, granting it an injunction to ban the ads of leading fashion house Marithe and Francois Girbaud.
Ads feature designer-clad women in the place of Jesus and the Apostles, one of them with her arms around a half-naked man in jeans.
Despite arguments by Girbaud’s lawyers that banning the ads would be censorship, the judge ruled that the ads were "a gratuitous and aggressive act of intrusion on people's innermost beliefs."
"The offence done to Catholics far outweighs the desired commercial goal," he said.
He ordered that all ads on display be taken down within three days. The association Belief and Liberties, which represented the church, was also awarded costs.
"When you trivialize the founding acts of a religion, when you touch on sacred things, you create an unbearable moral violence which is a danger to our children,” Thierry Massis, legal counsel for Belief and Liberties, had told the court. “Tomorrow Christ on the cross will be selling socks.”