WASHINGTON – The Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery is removing a video that was part of an exhibit after complaints from a Catholic group that the images were sacrilegious.
Catholic League President Bill Donohue told the New York Post on Tuesday that the video by artist David Wojnarowicz was "hate speech." He says the video with ants crawling on a crucified Christ figure was designed to insult Christians.
Museum Director Martin Sullivan issued a statement saying the artist's intention was to depict the suffering of an AIDS victim. He says the museum did not intend to offend anyone and is removing the video.
The piece is part of the first major museum exhibit to show how sexual orientation and gender identity have shaped American art. The exhibit is on view through February.