NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A Hindu religious group on Friday said a new exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum is offensive and hurtful, and said it should be taken down.
As CBS2’s Meg Baker reported, the Hindu goddess Kali – depicted in blue with multiple arms – is a religious symbol of empowerment.READ MORE: CNN's Chris Cuomo Suspended Indefinitely Over Extent Of Help To His Brother During Scandal
But the Hindu Temple Society of North America has taken issue with a depiction of Kali that has been mounted at the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum.
The 60-foot wall mural is one of numerous elements in the exhibition “Eyes of Time” by artist Chitra Ganesh, and shows Kali with six arms, three legs and three breasts, and a clock in place of her face.
“I felt deeply saddened that someone would depict a goddess whom we worship and revere,” said Dr. Uma Mysorekar of the Hindu Temple Society. “To depict her like this was wrong.”
Mysorekar in particular objected to the fact that Kali has no face in the mural
“I’ve never seen any picture like this of Kali,” she said. “I don’t even see her face on this.”
Believers said the deity is meant to be worshiped in a temple or at home shrines, not disgraced in a museum.READ MORE: Paterson, N.J. Doubling Down On Vaccination Efforts As Omicron Variant Inches Closer
“I believe whoever has done this has done this, it seems to me, has done it for the purpose of mockery, and to insult the Hindu community,” Mysorekar said.
Artist Gamnesh was born in India. She said the art was meant to explore ideas of femininity and empowerment.
The museum did not respond to criticism.
But as a representative of the Hindu community, Mysorekar said the image should be removed.
“It was very disturbing for me to see those photographs,” she said. “And I think whoever has done this certainly did not have an idea what Kali represents for all the Hindus, and I think it’s extremely insulting.”
The Hindu community at the Temple Society said they will not be going to see the exhibit, which is set to run through July of next year. The artists did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
The artist has been creating similar work for more than a decade. The Brooklyn Museum has displayed some of it before.MORE NEWS: Anne Donnelly, Nassau County's New District Attorney, On Her Goals In Office: 'A Big Responsibility That I Take Seriously'
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