Violent clashes in Haifa as Arab Christians protest 'McJesus' sculpture

The depiction of a crucified Ronald McDonald, sculpted by Finnish artist Janei Leinonen, and part of the musuem's "Sacred Goods" exhibit, has been on display since August.

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January 12, 2019 22:17
1 minute read.
A figure of a crucified Ronald McDonald

A figure of a crucified Ronald McDonald. (photo credit: REUTERS/ALEXANDER DEMIANCHUK)

 
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Violent clashes broke out between hundreds of Arab Christians and police in Haifa on Friday following demonstrations against the Haifa Museum of Art which displayed  "McJesus,"  a sculpture showing Ronald McDonald on a cross.

The depiction of a crucified Ronald McDonald, sculpted by Finnish artist Janei Leinonen, and part of the musuem's "Sacred Goods" exhibit, has been on display since August.

An Arab Christian protestor told Walla! news that the government was not properly responding to the Arab Christian community's complaints because of their minority status in Israel.  “If they put up [a sculpture of] Hitler with a Torah scroll they would immediately respond,” he said.

A molotov cocktail was thrown at the museum on Thursday.

The Haifa Police Department sent officers from its Special Patrol Unit to guard the museum before the planned protest on Friday.


A few hundred protesters tried forcibly entering the Haifa Museum of Art during the demonstration, according to the Haifa police. Three police officers were lightly wounded by rocks thrown at them in the course of the demonstration.

In the wake of the protest, the Haifa Museum announced that director Nissim Tal has agreed to post a sign at the entrance to the exhibit warning visitors that some may find the content offensive.


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