A leading German opera house unleashed a furious debate over free speech Tuesday by pulling a production over fears it posed a security risk because of a scene featuring the severed heads of Buddha, Jesus and Muhammad.
The Deutsche Oper said it had decided "with great regret" to cancel a planned production of Mozart's "Idomeneo" after Berlin security officials warned of an "incalculable risk" because of scenes dealing with Islam, as well as other religions.
"If I were to ignore this and say, 'We are going to stage this nevertheless, or because of this,' and something were to happen, then everyone would say, and would be right to say, she ignored the warning of security officials," Kirsten Harms, director of the Deutsche Oper, told reporters.
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