Catholic boys school quickly shrouds newly unveiled statue (photos)

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A new story in the Advertiser highlights an unusual piece of art revealed by an Australian Catholic school. They green-lighted a granite sculpture depicting St. Martin de Porres holding a loaf of bread out to a child. Curiously, the artist chose to carve the loaf extending outward  from the Saint’s groin as the child reaches for the offering.

St. Martin de Porres is the patron saint of  those seeking racial harmony. He was a Dominican priest who lived in Peru, until his death in 1639. He established a children’s hospital and orphanage, and was supposedly able to communicate with animals and cure the sick.

The sculpture honoring him was commissioned in May from an artist in Vietnam, based on designs which were approved by the school’s executive committee. When the school received the finished piece, they recognized its risqué connotation and had to cover it.

“Upon arrival, the three-dimensional statue was deemed by the [school] to be potentially suggestive,” Simon Cobiac, principal of the boys school, wrote on Blackfriars Priory School’s Facebook page. “As a consequence, the statue was immediately covered and a local sculptor has been commissioned to re-design it.”

Now covered by a black tarp, Cobiac writes about the statue: “The two-dimensional concept plans for the statue were viewed and approved by the Executive Team.” He says that due to the strange placement of the food, and concerns about the piece, the school is “taking action to substantially alter the statue.” The principal apologized for the work.

The statue was unveiled Friday, and an image was posted to an Instagram page (see below).  ,

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