geri-keil-virgin-mary-coke-bottleA Virgin Mary sculpture mixing religion and pop culture has sparked some controversy outside Syracause. “Bebe Coca,” a paper-mache sculpture of the Virgin of Guadalupe by artist Geri Keil, uses a glass Coca-Cola bottle for the body, the artist’s allusion to the “mishmash of cultures” in Mexico. But a local church group is so insulted they’re demanding the Marcellus Free Library take it off display. In a petition signed by a whole 78 people, the Blessed Virgin Mary Mother of God Church claims the artwork “is a grave dishonor to the image of our Lady because it depicts her as being devoured by a Coke bottle.”

Library officials denied the church’s censorship request, noting their dedication to “serving the broad community,” plus the fact that most of the petition’s signatures belonged to out of to owners who hadn’t seen the artwork. Still, church members are planning a “Rosary of Reparation,” a protest “to ask God’s forgiveness for the sculpture.” |Post-Standard|

Photo by David Lassman / The Post-Standard