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The Smithsonian Institution's National Portrait Gallery will remove a four-minute video feature that contains an image of Jesus on a crucifix covered in ants, its director said in a statement released on Tuesday.
"I regret that some reports about the exhibit have created an impression that the video is intentionally sacrilegious," the statement read. "In fact, the artist's intention was to depict the suffering of an AIDS victim. It was not the museum's intention to offend. We are removing the video today. The museum's statement at the exhibition's entrance, 'This exhibition contains mature themes,' will remain in place."
“Absolutely, we should look at their funds,” Georgia Rep. Jack Kingston, a member of the House Appropriations Committee, told Fox News.
Curator David C. Ward discusses this first major museum exhibition to focus on sexual difference in the making of modern American portraiture. "Hide/Seek" considers such themes as the role of sexual difference in depicting modern America; how artists explored the fluidity of sexuality and gender; how major themes in modern art—especially abstraction—were influenced by social marginalization; and how art reflected society's evolving and changing attitudes toward sexuality, desire, and romantic attachment.
Catholic League President Bill Donohue told Fox that the exhibit was hate speech. "What concerns me," he said, "is that the government is underwriting this assault on Christian sensibilities calculated to offend during the Christmas season."