May 22th 2024 | 5:11

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Christian lawyers denounce virgins inside condoms

Maria Jose Gonzalez

April 18, 2024 | 3:52 p.m.

The imminent opening of the exhibition "Poetics of Desire" at the Center for Plastic Arts of Gran Canaria has been involved in intense controversy following the request for censorship by the Spanish Foundation of Christian Lawyers. Alleging a violation of the fundamental right to religious freedom, this organization has urged the Administrative Litigation Court of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria to prevent its inauguration, which has generated a wide debate about the limits of art and freedom of expression.

This Thursday, the Plastic Arts Center, dependent on the Department of Culture of the Island Council of Gran Canaria, plans to reveal to the public "Poetics of Desire", a work by the artist José Luis Luzardo. The exhibition, which explores themes of sex, religion and illness through religious icons depicted on glass condoms, has provoked a vehement response from Christian Lawyers. This organization argues that the exhibition constitutes a direct offense to the religious feelings of Christians and criticizes the use of public funds for its financing.

The Perspective of Christian Lawyers: Between censorship and the defense of religious freedom

Poland Castellanos, president of Christian Lawyers, has expressed her indignation at what she considers an attack on Christian values, stressing that "it is intolerable that an activity that attacks the feelings of a large part of society is financed with public money." The request for extremely precautionary measures seeks, according to the foundation, to protect these feelings and maintain the neutrality that public institutions must display regarding religious issues.

Freedom of expression vs. religious sensitivity

Luzardo's work is no stranger to controversy; The artist has been exploring and challenging social conventions through his art since 2002. Using religious symbols within sexual contexts, Luzardo seeks to provoke reflection and dialogue on topics that are often taboo in society. As he explains, his inspiration comes from the devastating impact of AIDS in the 80s and how this disease has been stigmatized, especially in poorer countries.

The debate surrounding “Poetics of Desire” centers on a broader issue of cultural and artistic rights versus the protection of religious sensibilities. While some see the intervention of Christian Lawyers as an act of censorship that limits the artist's freedom of expression, others support the measure as a necessary defense of the religious values ​​and beliefs that are part of the identity of many.

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