The Catholic University of America hung paintings of Jesus Christ bearing features of George Floyd in two campus locations, and now one of the paintings has been stolen from its Columbus Law school after the artist received death threats.
"Mama," painted by St. Louis artist Kelly Latimore, depicts a Black Virgin Mary cradling Jesus' dead body after his crucifixion. It was discovered missing Nov. 24 from its place outside the Washington, D.C., law school's Mary Mirror of Justice Chapel. That painting has since been replaced with a smaller version.
Religion News reported that Latimore said he rendering has drawn criticism ever since he created it in 2020, but that the issue escalated last week after the Daily Signal, a website owned by the conservative Heritage Foundation, published a story last week about the painting.
An online petition written by CUA students for the painting's removal has circulated and has accumulated more than 3,600 signatures.
Student Mary Margaret Olohan tweeted, "It's just another symptom of the liberalization and secularization of our campus."
Olohan told the Daily Signal last week that the image "has no place at The Catholic University of America; it's blasphemous and offense to the Catholic faith. The student went on to say it was "not surprising at all that it was put there."
A plaque accompanying the painting said that "Mama" is evocative of the Pieta," a 15th-century Michelangelo masterpiece of religious art depicting the dead Christ in the arms of his sorrowful mother. Lifesitenews.com reported that a spokesman for Lattimore confirmed that the icon was created in the style of the Pieta.
CUA would not confirm whether the Floyd painting was representative of Christ, but Lifesite News reported that in an interview last April, Lattimore confirmed that the image was "a way to mourn George Floyd."
The painting was first unveiled back in February at the conclusion of the Columbus School of Law's Black History Month program, a news release on the law school's website says.
Lifesite News reported that in October, Pope Francis advocated for the destructive Black Lives Matter protests which broke out in the wake of Floyd's death in the summer of 2020, describing those involved in the pro-abortion, anti-family movement as "collective Samaritans."
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