(Via NY Post)
An artist displayed a painting of a crucified Santa Claus in front of St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Christmas Eve — a stunt that was ripped as sacrilegious.
The artwork by Robert Cenedella, which depicts a disheveled St. Nick hanging from a cross over a pile of Christmas presents, was removed from a Manhattan gallery after it received complaints.
So the painter took it right to the cathedral in the heart of Midtown on Sunday night — to the dismay of holiday revelers.
“You have to be a real piece of crap to try to ruin Christmas for children and families coming out of Mass,” said Councilman Joe Borelli (R-SI). “For shame!”
People walking down Fifth Avenue hours before Midnight Mass also expressed outrage at the painting.
“It’s a disturbing image — that’s the bottom line,” said Theresa Manly, 54, of Chapel Hill, NC. “I can’t imagine how whoever painted this abomination . . . All he’s doing is being a grinch.”
“If they saw this they’d be asking me, ‘Mommy, what’s Santa doing on the cross? Is Santa dead?’ ” said Cynthia Rodriguez, 29.
Cenedella told The Post that “the painting has been considered controversial from the outset but for the wrong reasons.”
“The thing about St. Patricks is, I always thought if the painting was there on Christmas Eve and people saw this during the service they would realize what has happened — how commercialism has really taken over what’s one of the more religious events in history,” he said. “That was the whole idea.”