Paint­ing leads to protests

The Citizen (KZN) - - World - Mex­ico City

– A con­tro­ver­sial paint­ing of Mex­i­can rev­o­lu­tion­ary leader Emil­iano Za­p­ata has pit­ted his fam­ily and sup­port­ers against the work’s artist and the les­bian, gay, bi­sex­ual and trans­gen­der (LGBT) com­mu­nity in a con­tentious dis­pute that erupted in heated protests on Tues­day.

The di­vi­sive im­age shows the iconic fig­ure naked and wear­ing a pink hat and high heels shaped like guns, while perched sug­ges­tively on a horse that has an erec­tion.

About hun­dred pro­test­ers stormed the Pala­cio de Bel­las Artes – Mex­ico’s pre­mier cul­tural centre – chant­ing “Burn it! Burn it!” and threat­en­ing to set the paint­ing on fire. They said the paint­ing, called La Revolu­cion, “den­i­grates” the rev­o­lu­tion­ary’s like­ness.

The pro­test­ers, many of them campesinos, or peas­ant ten­ant farm­ers who are sym­pa­thetic to the mes­sage of Za­p­ata – him­self a campesino from More­los state – demon­strated out­side the museum for hours.

Some shouted ho­mo­pho­bic slurs, prompt­ing a small group of LGBT com­mu­nity mem­bers and sup­port­ers to gather nearby and push back as ten­sions rose.

“I’m pretty sur­prised by this vi­o­lent demon­stra­tion. Why does the fem­i­nine fig­ure have to in­spire this much of­fence?” the work’s painter, Fabian Chairez, asked on Ra­dio For­mula.

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