New York Times editorial, 2 October 1999, on Andres Serrano’s Piss Christ -- a Jesus on the cross submerged in the artist’s urine— and Chris Ofili’s The Holy Virgin Mary, covered in elephant dung and pornographic images:
“To be sure, many citizens of conscience find parts of the Brooklyn exhibition repugnant, and it is understandable that many Roman Catholics would find Chris Ofili’s image of the Virgin Mary offensive. Others would agree with our colleague William Safire that while the Brooklyn Museum has a right to show what it likes, the administrators have been clumsy or needlessly provocative. Yet a Daily News poll shows that the majority of New Yorkers support the museum over Mayor Giuliani by a ratio of two to one. Those numbers show a broad-based support for New York’s role as the nation’s cultural capital. The people understand intuitively what Mr. Giuliani ignores for political gain. A museum is obliged to challenge the public as well as to placate it, or else the museum becomes a chamber of attractive ghosts, an institution completely disconnected from art in our time.
New York Times editorial, 12 September 2012:
[W]hoever made the film [alleged to have incited Libyan and Cairo embassy riots and murders] did true damage to the interests of the United States and its core principle of respecting all faiths...
[Thank you BH in Sydney]