The Diocese of Ibiza in Spain announced on Wednesday it would launch legal action against the Ibiza Museum of Contemporary Art if it does not take down a series of pornographic religious images by Ivo Hendricks and that are being displayed at the old Hospitalet church.
In a statement the diocese said those responsible for the art show should ensure that “such incidents do not happen again,” pointing out that the art is offensive to Catholics.
The old Hospitalet Church was entrusted to the Isidor Macabich Foundation by the Diocese of Ibiza in 1997. The Foundation in turn transferred the church to the Ibaza Museum of Contemporary Art.
The diocese reminded Museum director Elena Ruiz that the agreement allowing the Museum to take possession of the church stipulated that it would not be used for events or activities that would be “offensive to the sentiments of Catholics and insulting to individuals.”
The agreement also required that each year the schedule of activities would be reviewed by both parties, a norm that has not been fulfilled “to the surprise” of the Foundation.
Jose Luis Moya, Communications Director of the Diocese of Ibiza, said the exhibit was “obviously offensive” to Catholics. “It is incomprehensible that the abuse of the freedom of art and of expression can be used to wound the sentiments of Catholics in a place that is the property of the Church and where religious worship took place for many years,” he said. Moya criticized the Museum for being intolerant, as 70% of the residents of Ibiza profess to be Catholic.
The controversial exhibit include three collages by Ivo Hendricks which feature pictures of Jesus, Pope John Paul II and various icons of the Catholic faith mixed with explicit sex scenes.