Kaluga, Aug 22, Interfax - A court in the town of Tarusa in the Kaluga region has found the graphic work on the Evangelical theme "Sermon on the Mount" with Mickey Mouse as Christ to be extremist material, regional prosecutors said.
While looking at paintings from the Prohibited Art 2006 exhibition on the Internet, a Tarusa resident felt insulted by the painting by Moscow-based artist Alexander Savko, "Sermon on the Mount" from the Mickey Mouse's Journey Through the Arts History series. It is a modified version of the print by Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld featuring the Sermon on the Mount, with the figure of Christ replaced by Mickey Mouse.
She contacted local prosecutors and filed a lawsuit. As a result, the court found Savko's graphic work to be extremist material at in absentia proceedings.
The court found that, "the use of a technique, combining the holy Christian image of Jesus Christ and the comical (in this particular situation, even vulgar) image of Mickey Mouse, has turned this graphic work into a caricature of Jesus Christ," the statement said.
"Thus, the Evangelical theme is represented by the author of this work as a cartoon, which in turn represents and embodies the ultimate cynical, mocking affront, the dysphoric derision of religious beliefs and religious feelings of Orthodox believers, the demeaning of their human dignity on the grounds of religious affiliation," prosecutors said.
The Prohibited Art 2006 was an art exhibition held at the Andrey Sakharov Museum and Public Center in Moscow on March 7-31, 2007. The exhibition was strongly criticized by a number of religious and nationalist organizations, and its organizers Andrey Yerofeyev and Yury Samodurov were prosecuted and convicted of inciting religious hatred.