Blackfriars Priory School in Adelaide apologized for the recently completed granite work depicting St. Martin de Porres holding a loaf of bread close to his groin, as a child reaches out for it. The Australian Catholic school was forced to cover up a “suggestive” statue.
“Upon arrival, the three-dimensional statue was deemed by the [school] to be potentially suggestive,” Simon Cobiac, principal of the boys school, wrote on their Facebook page. “As a consequence, the statue was immediately covered and a local sculptor has been commissioned to re-design it.”
The sculpture honored the patron saint of all those seeking racial harmony, was commissioned from an artist in Vietnam. The design was approved by the school’s executive committee in May. The work portrayed St. Martin de Porres, a Dominican priest who lived in Peru until his death in 1639. He was noted for establishing a children’s hospital and orphanage and was believed to have the ability to communicate with animals and cure the sick instantly.
School executives did not recognize its risqué nature after it arrived. They decided to cover it with a black tarp until a local artist can “substantially” alter it, Cobiac wrote.
The principal apologized for any “concerns and publicity” generated by the work. The work was unveiled Friday and quickly posted to a popular Adelaide Instagram page.
“This is the first time bread had been unappealing to me in my whole life,” one commenter wrote.
“Who designed that… surely someone has to say ‘mmm big mistake,’” wrote another.
The account posted their own altered versions of the work replacing the loaf of bread with everything from a Subway sandwich and candy bar to a photo of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
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