Catholic World News — News Brief — 04/17/2001
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New Mexico Museum Listens To Protests Over Mary Image

SANTA FE, New Mexico, Apr. 17, 01 ( - A New Mexico museum said it will consider statements made at a public hearing on Monday and make a decision regarding a controversial photo collage that depicts the Our Lady of Guadalupe in bikini.

Four Museum of New Mexico regents listened to citizens' comments about a photo collage by Los Angeles artist Alma Lopez at the state Museum of International Folk Art.

Almost 600 people, most of them Catholics opposed to the display of the piece, packed an auditorium for the hearing.

Deacon Anthony Trujillo of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Santa Fe said Lopez's work has caused splits in families and among friends. "We all have an opportunity to begin a healing process," he said, urging the regents to "take a risk-- take this piece out so this healing process can begin."

Lopez has said she meant to portray Mary as a strong, independent, modern woman and meant no disrespect. A decision on the piece may take weeks.