.- Critics of Pamplona’s city council say it deliberately attacked Catholics and broke Spanish law by using city property to display a sacrilegious art exhibit with more than 240 stolen consecrated Hosts.
The Spanish artist Abel Azcona stole more than 240 consecrated Hosts by pretending to receive Holy Communion at Mass. He then placed the hosts on the ground to form the word “Pederasty” in Spanish.
Photos of the theft of the Hosts and their placement on the ground are shown in a public art gallery in Pamplona. The city council there is governed by a Basque separatist coalition called Bildu.
The Christian Lawyers Association has filed a lawsuit against Azcona for violating Spanish law. It has said the city council must pull the display by Thursday or face legal action itself.
Maider Beloki, a councilwoman from the city’s Department for Culture, presented the exhibit, which is titled “Buried.” The Hosts were laid out on display until a private citizen removed them from the art exhibit.
Polonia Catellanos, spokesperson for the Christian Lawyers Association, told CNA that the association has filed a lawsuit against the author of the display for “an offense against religious sentiments and desecration.” The offenses are illegal under Articles 524 and 525 of the Spanish Penal Code.
“We’ve also given the Pamplona City Council until Thursday to close down the art exhibit. If they don't do it, we'll expand the lawsuit to include charges of complicity and necessary cooperation,” Castellanos stated.
“I don’t know why a city council, no matter of what political stripe, would allow something which is clearly a crime,” Castellanos said.
“In principle, public authorities such as the city council should be ensuring that crimes like these are not committed, not help commit them. The penal code is for everyone and if they don't pull the exhibit before Thursday they're going to have to answer for it,” he added.
If Abel Ascona has a criminal record, he could face a jail time in addition to a fine.
The Maslibres.org organization has planned a Nov. 23 demonstration at 7 p.m. in front of the Pamplona city council to protest the use of city property to host the exhibit.
“Making available space on city property that all the citizens of the provincial capital pay to maintain with their taxes makes the city government an accomplice in what can be considered the biggest attack on Catholics in recent years,” said Miguel Vidal, a Maslibres.org spokesman.
MasLibres.org called photographic exhibit “a flagrant attack against our freedoms and a spectacle reflecting the moral and creative poverty of the supposed artist.”
As of Monday evening, over 75,000 people have signed a Change.org petition asking the city council to immediately and totally remove the exhibit.