Mickey Mouse on Christ’s Body Painting Banned in Russia

A court in central Russia has ruled that an offensive painting, which features the body of Jesus Christ with the head of Mickey Mouse, is banned from exhibition for being “extremist,” RIA Novosti reports.

The painting, created by Alexander Savko as part of a series called “Mickey Mouse's Travels Through Art History,” first appeared in an exhibit called “Forbidden Art” in 2007. That same year, a Christian organization accused the curators of the Forbidden Art exhibit of defacing symbols of religion.

This particular painting features Mickey's head and famous white gloves on Jesus' body as he teaches his disciples during the Sermon on the Mount.

A statement from the prosecutor's office says that the Kaluga Region court “established that Savko's technique of uniting the image of Jesus Christ, which is sacred for Christians, and the comical image of Mickey Mouse, which in this situation is vulgar, has turned the graphic work into a caricature of Jesus Christ.”

"The Gospel story is therefore presented by the artist in the form of a comic,” they added, “which is an extremely cynical and mocking insult to the religious beliefs and feelings of Orthodox Christian believers.”

 In 2010, the organizers of the exhibition were fined by the city court in Moscow, having been found guilty of inciting both national and religious hatred.

From now on, the painting will not only be banned from exhibitions in the country, but also from appearing in other forms of media such as magazines, newspapers and television, unless the decision is overturned in an appeals hearing.