Russian court bans painting showing Mickey Mouse as Christ

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A court in Russia has banned a painting that depicted Mickey Mouse as Jesus Christ, saying it was 'extremist'.

Alexander Savko's 'Sermon on the Mount' painting - part of a series titled "Mickey Mouse's Travels Though Art History" - was first shown at a controversial 2007 exhibition called "Forbidden Art".

The painting has been banned by the Kaluga region court from exhibitions, newspapers, magazines or television.

"During the court hearing, it was established that Savko's technique of uniting the image of Jesus Christ, which is sacred for Christians, and the comical image of Mickey Mouse, which in this situation is vulgar, has turned the graphic work into a caricature of Jesus Christ," a statement said.

"The Gospel story is therefore presented by the artist in the form of a comic, which is an extremely cynical and mocking insult to the religious beliefs and feelings of Orthodox Christian believers," it said.

A probe into the legality of the painting was launched in 2007 after a Christian organisation accused the Forbidden Art curators of defacing religious symbols.

The Moscow City Court in 2010 ruled that the exhibition organisers were guilty of inciting national and religious hatred.

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