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Serrano’s Piss Christ stokes controversy once again

Catholic protesters in Corsica have demanded the removal of the work from a museum exhibition

Piss Christ has been displayed alongside an 18th-century Italian painting of the Virgin Mary since 27 June. Photo: © France3/culturebox

The New York artist Andres Serrano has awakened fresh controversy with his 1987 work Piss Christ, which famously sparked a culture war in the US that led to the end of NEA grants to individual artists. Around 50 protesters gathered yesterday, 26 August, outside the Musée Fesch in Ajaccio, Corsica, to demand the immediate removal of the photograph from an exhibition of 120 works by the artist.

A member of the Catholic organisation Cristiani Corsi told France TV Info that the protest aimed to have the work removed from the museum and returned to the Lambert Collection in Avignon, which co-organised the exhibition. “[Corsica] is soiled by the presence of this picture. It’s an insult to every Corsican,” he said.

Serrano’s photograph shows a crucifix plunged into a container of urine. It was made as part of a series of religious objects immersed in bodily fluids. Piss Christ is among the works that the curators decided to intersperse with the Fesch museum’s historic collections. It has been displayed alongside an 18th-century Italian painting of the Virgin Mary since 27 June. The show is scheduled to continue until 29 September.

Piss Christ was vandalised on Palm Sunday in 2011 when it was on display in Avignon. “One should look at works of art for what they are and not for the intentions one imagines the artist to have,” said Eric Mézil, the director of the Lambert Collection.

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5 Sep 14
13:9 CET


This artist obviously has a serious problem in low self esteme and should find another vocation. As a toilet cleaner perhaps. This is not art.

28 Aug 14
15:23 CET


"look at works of art for what they are" ? Duchamp said the viewer brings 50 % so what`s Eric Mezil`s 50%? What intentions did the artist actually have? Where`s the Piss Buddha statue/black cube of Mecca/Hindu Deity/Venus figurine/Socrates bust/Michaelangelo David figurine/death mask of William Blake/bust of Stalin in urine photos ? How lazy minded, half-hearted and twee of Eric Mezil and Andreas Serrano .

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