Catholic World News — News Brief — 05/22/2001
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Controversial Mary Collage Back On Display
SANTA FE, New Mexico, May 22, 01 ( - A state-funded New Mexico museum has decided to leave a controversial collage depicting the Virgin Mary in a bikini on display despite objections from Catholics.

A committee that had been tasked to hear arguments on both sides and make a decision said on Tuesday that "Our Lady," by artist Alma Lopez, should remain on display at the Museum of International Folk Art, although the entire exhibit will close earlier than planned. Catholics had condemned the image as sacrilegious and insensitive to their beliefs.

The "Cyber Arte: Tradition Meets Technology" exhibit, which includes the collage, opened on February 25 and was scheduled to close next February. Joyce Ice, head of the folk art museum, said the exhibit would close on October 28 instead, "in the spirit of reconciliation." She said she thought closing the exhibit early would "walk a middle ground," acknowledging the controversy but without censoring the art.

The collage includes a photograph of a model portraying the Virgin of Guadalupe wearing a computer-generated two-piece floral outfit and a bare-breasted woman in place of the angel in the traditional image.