The decision of New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani to oppose funding of the Brooklyn Museum of Art—unless it cancels its offensive “Sensation” exhibit—was greeted with applause today by many Catholics. Catholic League president William Donohue outlined the league’s new strategy:
“The Brooklyn Museum of Art has offended Catholics by rationalizing its decision to host ‘Sensation,’ an exhibit that features a painting of the Virgin Mary laced with elephant dung and surrounded by pictures of vaginas and anuses. Along with the dismembered animals that the exhibit displays, the only term that can be used to describe this monstrosity is ‘snuff art.’
“Catholics salute Mayor Giuliani for his courage and decency in opposing funding of the Brooklyn Museum of Art for its obstinacy on this issue. Now Catholics need to know the position of Hillary Clinton, and to that end, we have asked her to state her position on this issue. We have noted for her that the museum is accessible by the number 2 and 3 subway lines.
“Every member of the City Council has been sent a letter requesting that the museum be defunded. In addition, in this weekend’s edition of the Tablet, the newspaper of the Brooklyn diocese, the Catholic League has placed a half-page ad asking all Catholic school teachers to boycott the museum during the academic year 1999-2000.
“It is nothing short of amazing that some constitutional attorneys are questioning the right of the mayor to defund the Brooklyn Museum of Art. It cannot be said too strongly that no one has a constitutional lien on the public purse, and that certainly includes snuff artists. There is no shortage of private philanthropy around, and that is why those who like this stuff should find some fat cat bigot to foot the bill.”