Exhibit showing Jesus on dartboard removed by Rutgers after backlash
Alumni and students at Rutgers University, turning to Facebook to voice their opposition, successfully appealed to the school to remove a piece of artwork from an exhibit on the New Brunswick campus that depicts Jesus on a dartboard, NJ Advance Media reported.
On Wednesday evening, Rutgers alumna Natalie Caruso posted two photos of the dartboard, on which Jesus is crucified with four darts, to the "Rutgers University Class of 2016" public Facebook group. The piece is titled "Vitruvian Man," an apparent reference to the famous Leonardo da Vinci drawing, but the name of the artist who created it was not displayed, and has not been identified.
Response was swift, with more than 100 comments and shares each in the Facebook post's first 24 hours. And on Thursday, according to NJ Advance Media, Rutgers officials took down the piece, which had been housed among others at the Art Library on Voorhees Mall — first moving it to a less conspicuous place, then taking it out of the library entirely.
"The artwork in question was removed from the exhibit because it did not meet Rutgers University Libraries policy, which requires art exhibitions and their pieces to be based on university events, curricular offerings and topics of interest to the university community," Jessica Pellien, library spokeswoman, told NJ Advance Media.
Not everyone who reacted to Caruso's post took the artwork personally.
"You are in an art library displaying a form of art," said commenter Julio Perez. "Maybe it is offensive but a lot of art is." Perez's comment was liked by 48 people, and garnered several replies.
The NJ Advance Media report also mentions several other unusual pieces on display at the library, including a stack of coins covered by a condom, and a milk carton bearing a picture of Anne Frank.
Patrick Lavery produces "New Jersey's First News" and is New Jersey 101.5's morning drive breaking news reporter. Follow him on Twitter @plavery1015 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.