The Shofar is the ancient trumpet which called the people of God to prayer, repentance, sacrifice and war.


Immediate 21.30 hrs Saturday 17th February 2007

Artist Damien Hirst has been accused of ignorance of Christianity, the subject of his latest exhibition, 'New Religion.'

Stephen Green, National Director of Christian Voice, said tonight:

'Damien Hirst thinks he is being daring with his latest exhibition, being held in All Hallows on the Wall in London, which he quaintly describes as 'a working church'. The trouble is, all he has done is expose his own ignorance and a peculiar obsession with medicines.

'For a start, in calling his rather elegant cross studded with pewter pills a 'crucifix', Hirst is saying he doesn't know that for a cross to be a crucifix, it needs a representation of Jesus Christ on it. As the shop girl famously said, it needs 'a little man on it.'  The pills cannot represent Christ, for they are inlaid into the cross rather than on it, so it is a cross, not a 'crucifix' and Hirst has paraded his ignorance.

'He also seems not to know that Moses' staff becoming a snake is not part of the ten plagues on Egypt, nor that 'Lord show us the Father' was the prayer of Jesus' followers not for them. He is confused about the Last Supper and whether the Garden of Gethsemane is to do with Christ's Passion or His Resurrection.

'But the use of so many medicines and tablets is the most confused and confusing part. How long did it take him to assemble them all? Has he taken them all at some stage? Why in his series on the Apostles is Bartholomew associated with 'Tylenol Codeine' and Peter with some capsule or other? Where is the 'religious connotation' Damien Hirst is claiming to give us?

'It is also peculiar that Hirst has premised his work on some supposed 'conflict' between science and religion. A bit more serious thought would show that religion and science do different jobs and are not in conflict at all. In fact, the exhibits seem to shout 'medicine' rather than 'science', so I cannot see that he has hit the target, or even qualified for the play-offs.

'In Hans Christian Anderson's story, all the clever people kept pretending that the Emperor had a lovely new suit of clothes. It took a small boy to point out that he had nothing on at all. In this exhibition, Damien Hirst has put nothing on at all. Maybe it's a case of trying too hard, or maybe Hirst has forgotten to take some tablets of his own. Either way, I shan't be going to see it.'