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“Virgin Mary” Barbies cause uproar in Argentina

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Argentine artists Pool Paolini and Marianela Perelli pose with a big Virgin of Lujan with the face of a Barbie doll. (HECTOR RIO/AFP/Getty Images)

Artists Pool Paolini and Marianela Perelli are causing a huge stir with their exhibition “Barbie, the Plastic Religion,” which opens to the public in Buenos Aires on Saturday. On display will be around 33 Barbie and Ken dolls, dressed as Catholic icons and saints (including the Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ) and various Hindu deities. Word of the show sparked outrage in the overwhelmingly Catholic country, even causing the exhibit to open a year later than planned, as religious and right-wing groups protested the “offensive” display and the artists received threats. “The brother of a very important priest in Argentina, of the most important church in the country, approached us days before the scandal wanting to buy the Our Lady of Lujan to give to his brother,” Mr Paolini, 32, told The Independent. That’s when the trouble began.

Perelli defended the display by saying that they saw Barbie — not unlike the Virgin Mary — as a world icon, with a “special kind of beauty.”

“We did not intend to offend anyone, so we don’t understand why the Barbie was a problem,” added Paolini. “We wanted to blend the two biggest icons in the world, Barbie and religion.”

Read the full story at the Independent.

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