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Russian art gallery removes Caviar Virgin

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MOSCOW, Oct 7, 2005 (UPI via COMTEX) -- A Virgin Mary made of caviar was removed from a modern art exhibit in Moscow after a church group threatened to "take measures."

A local Orthodox church sent a letter to gallery charging Alexander Kosolapov's "Icon-caviar" incited religious hatred, the BBC reported Friday.

A spokeswoman for the New Tretyakov Gallery said the group threatened to "take their own measures" if the work was not removed.

Icon-caviar is a collage of photographs of Kosolapov's 1989 work, showing an outline of the Virgin Mary holding baby Jesus filled in with caviar and surrounded by a gilded icon frame.

Kosolapov, a Russian painter who emigrated to the United States in 1975, said his art was not hateful.

"My work does not have any religious meaning: the icons and the caviar are just a metaphor for the Russian spirit," he said.


Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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