MILWAUKEE (AP) — The Milwaukee Art Museum has handled dozens of complaints from angry Catholics and others over its plans to display a portrait of Pope Benedict that is made from 17,000 condoms.
Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki says the museum’s decision to display the piece is insulting and callous. Some patrons have dropped their membership, and at least one donor has ended financial support of the museum.
Trustees president Don Layden tells the Journal Sentinel the portrait is meant to spark a conversation about AIDS and AIDS education. Layden says the intention was not to be mocking or disrespectful.
The museum announced the acquisition of the piece by Niki Johnson this month. But, it won’t go on display until this fall because the museum’s permanent collection galleries are currently closed for renovation.