This “McJesus” sculpture is sparking controversy in Israel but the museum refuses to take it down.
Hundreds of Israeli Christians are protesting the crucified Ronald McDonald sculpture at the Haifa Museum. Israeli police said protesters threw fire bombs at the museum and hurled rocks at police. Crowds were contained with tactics like tear gas.
The Israeli Culture Minister Miri Ragav called for the “disrespectful artwork” to be removed. Museum Director Nissim Tal said the exhibit has been up for months and is surprised at the sudden uproar. The museum is refusing to take the sculpture down, arguing the right for freedom of expression.
“If we take the art down, the next day we’ll have politicians demanding we take other things down and we’ll end up only with colorful pictures of flowers in the museum,” Tal said.
The museum has reportedly hung a sign by “McJesus” saying it doesn’t mean to offend.
The Finnish artist behind the sculpture, Jani Leinonen, has created other paintings depicting Ronald McDonald. Leinonen has also asked for “McJesus” to be taken down because of his support for a Palestinian-led movement that wants foreign artists to cease from performing in Israel.
The museum also came under fire in the past of a naked woman tied to a wooden cross, which was part of an exhibit that they eventually canceled.