Gallery invites visitors to deface Bible

Last updated 00:00 24/07/2009

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Visitors to a gallery in Scotland have been defacing the Bible in the name of art.

The Gallery of Modern Art in Glasgow has invited art lovers to write their thoughts down in an open Bible on display as part of its Made in God's Image exhibition.

Next to the Bible lie several pens with a note saying: "If you feel you have been excluded from the Bible, please write your way back into it".

Several visitors have already taken up the offer, choosing to leave messages of abuse and obscenity rather than support for the words of God.

"This is all sexist pish, so disregard it all," one message read.

Another scrawled over the first page of Genesis: "I am Bi, Female & Proud. I want no god who is disappointed in this".

Others wrote: "The Gospel According to Luke Skywalker", "F*** the Bible" and "Facist God".

The exhibition, which also includes a woman ripping pages from a Bible and stuffing them into her underwear, has outraged the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of Scotland.

But the gallery's artist in residence, Anthony Schrag, is unrepentant.

"Any offensive things that have been written are not the point of the work," Schrag told The Times newspaper.

"It was an open gesture. Are those who say they are upset offended by the things that people write, or just by the very notion that someone should write on a Bible?

"If we are to open up the Bible for discussion, surely we have to invite people to speak out."

The Metropolitan Community Church originally proposed the exhibition as a way of reclaiming the Bible as a sacred text.

However, some of its members have been shocked by the insults written in the Bible on display.

"The Bible should never be used like that," church minister Jane Clarke said.

"It was our intention to reclaim it as a sacred text."

A Catholic Church spokesman said: "One wonders whether the organisers would have been quite as willing to have the Koran defaced".

- AAP

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