City mayor pledges removal of controversial McJesus sculpture ‘as soon as possible’

A statue depicting the fast food icon Ronald McDonald being crucified is being withdrawn from a museum in Israel following protests by Christians.

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The Bosses at the Haifa Museum of Art had previously resisted calls to take down the life-size ‘Mc Jesus’ model, on the grounds of freedom of expression.

But the city’s mayor Einat Kalisch-Rotem said that it would be removed at the earliest opportunity, following discussions with church leaders.

In a tweet translated by the Reuters news agency, she said: “The sculpture will be removed and returned as soon as possible.

“We regret the aggravation the Christian community experienced and the physical injury and violence that surrounded it.”

Violent protests exploded over of the artwork last Friday. Dozens of people had forcibly tried to enter the museum in unrest which saw one person arrest. Firebombs were thrown at the museum.

Created by Finnish artist Jani Leinonen, ‘McJesus’ formed part of an installation about consumerism and religion.

The sculpture, known as McJesus, was created by Finnish artist Jani Leinonen and displayed as part of the Haifa Museum of Art’s “Sacred Goods” exhibition in Israel. The piece, seen on display in the museum Monday, prompted vehement pushback from Christians in the country

It provoked fierce opposition from Arab Christians in Israel – who compromise approximately two per cent of the country’s population.

Miri Regev, the Israeli culture minister had joined calls for the removal of the piece.