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Over 90 cases of censorship in Polish art. A calendar of interventions and violations of Article 73 of the Polish Constitution in 1989 – 2008.
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2008-12-10 | Media Ethic Council criticised Focus
On November 6, 2008, the Media Ethic Council in Poland criticised Focus magazine for inserting the information about magnets with which you can dress up Jesus on the cross. The appeal was inspired by the letter in which a group of Catholic activists and intellectualists informed the publication had offended their religious feelings.
We wrote about this case on Indeks 73 website. However, we didn't know at that time the stand of the Media Ethic Concil. Now we know it's negative to the magazine.
The project “Jesus Dress Up” was made up by a famous artist known as Normal Bob Smith in 1991. For many years it's been possible to download various ranges of clothes to dress up Jesus from the artist's website or collect printed versions from many magazines.
Statement of the Media Ethic Council (Warsaw, November 5, 2008) (Read full version in Polish)
Referring to the October edition of the magazine Focus Ekstra accompanied with a “toy” which allows to dress up Jesus on the cross, the Media Ethic Council received numerous protests against such a mockery of religious feelings. The Council agrees with the protesters and reminds Focus that respect and tolerance for religions are priorities of the Media Ethic Chart.
MEC member Roman Łuczkowski submitted Votum Separatum
INDEKS 73 COMMENTARY:
The Media Ethic Council's categorical stand taken with reference to the magazine Focus illustration of Normal Bob Smith's project is really striking, taking into account separation of church and state declared in the Polish law. Although the authorities may speak in defence of a discriminated religious group, it is difficult to consider the illustration in Focus a threat to Polish Catholics.
We think that the attitude of the Media Ethic Council may indicate restraints on freedom of artistic expression and free access to cultural goods guaranteed in Article 73 of the Polish Constitution.