A depiction of frogs in a modern art sculpture that would make Kermit blush has also been condemned by Pope Benedict XVI and labeled as blasphemous.
The 4-foot wooden artwork in question is a crucified green frog holding a beer mug in one hand and an egg in the other, Reuters reported.
The board of the Museion Museum in Bolzano, Italy, met Thursday to decide whether to side with the pope and other "frog" critics, or with those who say it should be recognized as a work of art. They decided to keep it.
Late German artist Martin Kippenberger’s “Zuerst die Fuesse," (Feet First), depicts the frog in a loin cloth, nailed to a cross through its hands, with its tongue hanging out of its mouth.
"Surely this is not a work of art but a blashphemy and a disgusting piece of trash that upsets many people," Franz Pahl, president of the regional government who opposed the sculpture, read from a letter from the Vatican to Reuters.
The Vatican letter said that the work "wounds the religious sentiments of so many people who see in the cross the symbol of God's love."
Pahl was so offended by “Feet First" that he went on a hunger strike to demand its removal and had to be taken to hospital this summer.
The sculpture does have its supporters as well.
"Art must always be free and the artist should not have any restrictions on freedom of expression," Reuters quoted Claudio Strinati, a superintendent for Rome's state museums.
Kippenberger's work has been shown at the Tate Modern and the Saatchi Gallery in London and at the Venice Biennale, and retrospectives are planned in Los Angeles and New York, Reuters reported.
Read More: Reuters
A New York dog owner is so proud of his pooch that he threw the canine a $10,000 “Bark Mitzvah.”
David Best thinks “Elvis” is such a top dog that he deserved the star-studded event, which drew 100 guests, including famed sex therapist Dr. Ruth. Even Elvis’ mother showed up to wish him well.
“He has a great personality and everyone loves him,” Best said.
Read more: MyFOXNY.com
Snacks – Not Cash – Stolen in Airport Robbery
Carrying out a robbery at Penang International Airport, a group of thieves made off with a bag of snack cakes instead of a bag of money.
Four brazen robbers, two armed with automatic handguns, unloaded 10 shots, striking an airport moneychanger and the automatic glass door of the airport entrance. They then grabbed the moneychanger’s bags — containing Chinese mooncakes and his clothes. However, they neglected to take a bag containing $560,000 in cash.
The moneychanger, who was rushed to Penang Hospital, is expected to survive. The thieves are still at large.
Read more: The Malaysia Star
Charge Dismissed in Dog-Voting Case
A judge has decided that a suburban Seattle woman who registered her Australian shepherd-terrier mix to vote has spent enough time in the legal doghouse.
Jane Balogh had been charged with making a false statement but entered into a plea agreement last year. A King County judge dismissed the charge Monday after Balogh showed that she had paid $240 in court costs and completed community service.
Balogh says she registered her dog Duncan to protest a loophole in the law that she says makes voter registration so easy a nonexistent person could be added to the voter rolls.
She says she made no secret of her action after the fact, telling a number of elected officials she had registered her dog.
And she says Duncan never voted. (AP)
A look into the underground tunnels of Adolf Hitler has unearthed the former dictator’s architectural vision for Berlin as the “capital of the world.”
The tunnels, lying about 50 feet below Tiergarten Park, were part of a vast underground network that would have included roads and a rail system. Above the surface, a series of huge buildings, which were never completed due to World War II.
The city, which has since been dubbed “Germania,” would have far outshined the architecture of cities like Paris and Rome, with its center being the biggest domed hall in history.
The tunnels are normally closed to the public due to safety, but tours can be arranged.
Read more: Reuters
After investigating stolen food, footprints and disheveled desks in a Georgia courthouse, authorities nabbed a masked vandal — a raccoon named Russell.
Federal bankruptcy Judge Paul W. Bonapfel reported the break-in last week on the fourteenth floor of the Richard B. Russell Federal Building in downtown Atlanta.
But the raccoon, named Russell after the building, was not finished yet. Judges and staff who work in the building reported other thefts — chocolate chip cookies stolen from a 10th-floor desk, a sandwich on the 9th floor, and a packet of dried soup purloined from the 23rd floor.
The investigation ended Monday when a judicial assistant heard a noise overhead. Two workers removed the ceiling tiles and grabbed the suspect.
"We're going to see if we can get him turned loose on a farm somewhere," said Robert Perkins, the building's manager. "We're going to take him a long way from this building." (AP)
In other animal crime news, a pigeon was picked up for smuggling after it was found to be dealing heroin.
Wardens at a maximum security jail in Bosnia knew something was amiss after inmates seemed “visibly intoxicated” after the pigeon was spotted on a window ledge. Those inmates later tested positive for heroin, including the bird’s owner.
The pigeon was believed to have come from Tuzla, a town 40 miles away from the jail. It will be imprisoned until jail officials figure out a punishment.
"We do not know what to do with the pigeon," Deputy Warden Josip Pojavnik told Ananova. "But for the time being it will remain behind bars."
Read more: Ananova
An Indian horror film fan paid top dollar to prove he was no chicken.
Pavin Ponanna, a 30-year-old advertising executive, rented an entire movie theater to watch new horror film “Phoonk” by himself. Bollywood producer-director Ram Gopal Verma, so confident in his latest film’s scare factor, challenged his fans to watch the film alone.
Despite visiting a temple beforehand and instructing the theater to have a doctor on call, Ponanna emerged from the movie saying, “I never felt scared, not even for a moment.”
The tickets cost him just under $1,000.
Read more: Daily Pioneer
Compiled by FOXNews.com's Erin Obourn and Tom Durante.
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