A top Jewish lawyer has supported a call from Stephen Green, National Director of Christian Voice, for Terence Koh’s pornographic statue of Jesus Christ, which Christians have described as blasphemous, to be destroyed by its owners, a prominent Jewish couple.
Leading criminal law barrister Jonathan Goldberg QC made his plea in a letter to the Jewish Chronicle, which was published today.
The statue, part of a collection owned by Anita Zabludowicz, was on display at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in
. The exhibition closed on Saturday 20th January and Mrs Zabludowicz now has her statue back.
Her husband, Finnish billionaire Poju Zabludowicz, sits on the Jewish Leadership Council with the Chief Rabbi, Sir Jonathan Sacks, the President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, Mr Henry Grunwald, QC, and a host of the Jewish great and good.
‘It is unpardonable to show such disrespect and cause such gratuitous offence to our Christian friends and supporters of
, above all in these troubled times,’ wrote Mr Goldberg.
‘Mr and Mrs Poju Zabludowicz should now demonstrate the qualities of Jewish communal leadership to which they aspire, no doubt worthily, by consigning this artefact to the depths,’ he concluded.
Stephen Green said:
'Those of us who honour the Jewish roots of our Christian faith and the place of Israel in God's purpose will be dismayed to see such disrespect of our faith from such prominent members of the Jewish community, whom we regard as the cultivated Olive Tree, from Romans 11:13-24.
'Back in 2005, the Chief Rabbi lectured on "How to build a culture of respect". He spoke of the Christian and Jewish communities feeling "on the defensive" and "bruised" in the face of onslaughts from secularists and Islamists. In February 2006, he asked on the BBC: "Can we learn to respect what others hold holy?"
'If these are to be more than just words, such a disrespectful piece of plaster, insulting the One whom Christians hold most holy of all, can find no place amongst the possessions of a prominent Jewish couple who know the Chief Rabbi personally.
'The thought of Mr & Mrs Zabludowicz owning or profiting from a statue humiliating and blaspheming the Lord Jesus Christ, Yeshua Meshiach, brings up thoughts that I really do not want to entertain. That is why I am very grateful to Jonathan Goldberg QC for his gracious support. Whatever that disgraceful statue is worth, good relations between Christian and Jews are worth far, far more.'
Members of the Jewish Leadership Council as at
25th January 2008