hundreds of christians marched Friday in front of the Museum of contemporary Art of Haifa to protest against a work of art called Mc Jesus representing a Ronald Mcdonald crucified. The protesters have tried to force the doors of the establishment to get the installation. Incidents broke out with the police, who come under jets of stone. Three members of the security forces have been wounded in the head. The previous night, a contraption of incendiary had been launched against the museum.
Mc Jesus is Ronald, the clown of the yellow and red of Mcdonald’s, nailed to a thick wooden cross. The Finnish artist Jani Leinonen has created the work in the framework of an exhibition called Sacred Goods of which the theme is, as its name indicates, the sacralization of consumer goods. Jani Leinonen, 41 years, is specialized in the hijacking of images and the strategies of brands. He was convicted in 2012 for having stolen a pillar plastic in a Mcdonald’s restaurant that he then destroyed. Two of her installations have been exhibited in August 2015 to Dismaland, an amusement park artistic and ephemeral, imagined by the street artist Banksy in Britain.
warning signs in the museum
Thursday, the minister of Culture Miri Regev wrote to the director-general of the Museums of Haifa, requesting the withdrawal of the work. In her letter, she indicated that she has received “numerous complaints” to “grave offense to the feelings of the christian community.” “Contempt of the symbols sacred to the religions and many believers around the world as an act of protest art is illegitimate and cannot be displayed in a cultural institution supported by public funds,” she wrote.
The museum’s management refuses to give in to the pressure. It has, however, decided to place warning signs at the entrance of the exhibition to report that the work could be perceived as offensive. According to the museum of Haifa, the debate on art should not sink into the violence. As to Mc Jesus , it is part of an exhibition on consumerism, which “refers to the cynical use of religious symbols by the multinational corporations”.