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Gratia Plena Andrea Saltini.png
Diocese of Carpi
Gratia Plena Andrea Saltini.png
Diocese of Carpi
World News

Artist stabbed in the neck for ‘blasphemous’ Jesus painting

by Kelly Valencia

An Italian artist, who recently stirred controversy with a painting depicting Jesus that some deemed "blasphemous," has been stabbed in the neck. The attack occurred at the Museo Diocesano in Carpi, where the exhibition featuring the contentious artwork is being held.

According to local reports, the assailant entered the museum and vandalised the painting by slashing it and covering it with black spray paint. The artist, Andrea Saltini, attempted to intervene but was struck in the neck with a blade before the attacker fled.

Saltini was promptly hospitalised and discharged after receiving a few stitches.

Police arrived at the scene to find a discarded knife and face mask at the church, along with a black wig nearby, possibly worn by the perpetrator during the attack.

The artist’s lawyer, Giuseppe Chierici, said in a statement: “[Saltini] asks the entire community of Carpi to reflect on the limits of dissent, the right to criticism, the right to freedom of thought,”

“Saltini hopes an open and free discussion respecting everyone's sensitivities and opinions can begin as soon as possible.”

Saltini's painting, which contains sexual imagery, prompted pro-life group Pro Vita to launch a petition demanding its removal from the Gratia Plena exhibition, which features 20 mixed media works on canvas, each offering a contemporary interpretation of religious themes.

The exhibition, organised by the Diocese of Carpi, opened on 2nd March and will run until 2nd June. The diocese had previously rejected accusations of blasphemy, hailing Saltini's works as a rare example of "true contemporary art with a religious subject".

In a statement, the Diocese of Carpi condemned the attack. It read: “The Diocese of Carpi expresses its closeness and full solidarity to Mr. Andrea Saltini for the unprecedented act of violence of which he was the victim, wishing him a speedy recovery, and to all the collaborators who took part in the presentation of the exhibition "Gratia plena".

“The Diocese of Carpi thanks the police for their timely intervention and undertakes to cooperate fully in the investigations aimed at finding the perpetrator of the insane act.”

The organisers of the petition offered its "full solidarity" with Saltini after what it called a "crazy and unjustifiable attack".


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