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A New "Sensation"?: Kippenberger's Crucified Frog Condemned by Catholics

Feet First (Prima i piedi) (1990), Martin Kippenberger's four foot high wooden sculpture of a crucified frog in loincloth, brandishing a mug of beer and an egg, has been at the center of an escalating dispute since it went on exhibit in May 2008 at the newly opened Museion in Bolzano, Italy.

Museum officials have insisted on their institutional autonomy and freedom of expression, while various clergy, government functionaries and Vatican spokesmen, even Pope Benedict XVI himself, have denounced it as provocative and blasphemous, and demanded its removal. To support this there have been various actions, including a hunger strike by a local politician, a petition signed by 10,000 citizens, and a protest march.

In response, the frog was moved from the entrance hall to the third floor, and at one point partially obscured by newspaper stories about the controversy. But apparently nothing short of its total removal will be acceptable to its critics.

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