04:47 GMT +322 September 2019
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    Painting of Crucified Santa Outside NYC Cathedral Sparks Outrage Online

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    A painting of a crucified Santa Claus by Robert Cenedella displayed in Manhattan has prompted mass outrage, with social media users slamming the artist's work, which many have dubbed as inappropriate.

    A controversial painting by Robert Cenedella has been displayed outside St. Patrick’s Cathedral on New York City's Fifth Avenue in Manhattan showing Santa Claus hanging on a cross with wrapped Christmas presents at his feet.

    The painting, which had been previously removed from a Manhattan gallery, has been called a "disturbing image" by passers-by, with the New York Post citing Councilman Joe Borelli as saying, "You have to be a real piece of cr*p to try to ruin Christmas for children and families coming out of Mass."

    The image has also prompted harsh criticism by Twitter users, with many slamming the painting and its author.

    The artist has explained his "message" by telling the New York Post that "the painting has been considered controversial from the outset but for the wrong reasons," adding that he wanted people to "realize what has happened — how commercialism has really taken over what’s one of the more religious events in history." However, very few understood what the artist described as the "whole idea" of his work.

    The Catholic League has also commented on "The Presence of Man" painting, saying, "We took no objection to art that protested the commercialization of Christmas, but we also maintained that it was not obvious that the painting conveyed that message."

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    Tags:
    Christmas, Santa Claus, United States, New York City
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