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By - (20 September, 2002, Daily Post (Liverpool))
ARTISTS have been branded "offensive and deliberately provocative" for exhibiting a blasphemous sculpture in Liverpool's oldest Catholic church.
The artwork includes a visitors' book where people are encouraged to answer the question "Is God a c**t?"
Members of the city's Christian community were last night angered by the exhibition, in St Peter's Church, Seel Street, whichincludes a number of provocative artworks such as the skulls pictured left.
Ruth Slater, of the Liverpool-based Community Standards Association, accused the work of gratuitously aiming to shock.
She said: "I think it is outrageous but they want it to be provocative and offensive especially to people of the Catholic faith.
God, from any faith, would be upset by it."
The book forms part of a boxshaped installation, decorated by a team of artists including Turner Prize nominee Tracey Emin, that reaches almost to the church's ceiling.
It was created by Bill Drummond, a former member of early '90s dancepop act The KLF, the group best known for making an artistic statement by setting fire to pounds 1m in cash.
Visitors to the exhibition, part of the Liverpool Biennial arts festival, have left messages in the book.
One distressed contributor wrote: "I think it is a totally disrespectful question to ask, especially in a church."
Another added: "God must be a c**t if he made all of you lot in his own image."
The church, which became disused six years ago and has been sold by the Archdiocese for conversion into offices.
It is surrounded by the building's original religious frescos and stained glass windows.
Exhibition curator Neil Brown said the installation aimed to open up discussion about religion on the streets of Liverpool.
However, he conceded the exhibition could be seen as offensive.
He added: "I can see why some people would be upset by the work but I believe the net benefit is greater."
L The Glory of God - New Religious Art exhibition will run until October 12.
Caption: INVOLVED: Artist Tracey Emin
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