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Polish artist convicted of blasphemy

A Polish court has ruled that an artist who exhibited an image of a man's penis attached to a cross is guilty of breaking the country's law on blasphemy.

The country's top-selling daily Gazeta Wyborcza said the conviction of artist Danuta Nieznalska in Gdansk was the first known instance in Poland of anyone being convicted of offending religious sensibilities.

"The cross is a symbol of suffering, because on it Christ died. There is no doubt that this cross has been desecrated," the paper quoted as Judge Tomasz Zielinski as saying.

In addition to a $A779 fine, the judge imposed on Nieznalska a six-month foreign travel ban, saying her legal notoriety would likely increase her demand in international art circles.

"I am shocked by such a severe sentence," the paper quoted the artist as saying after the verdict. "The court was totally biased. The judge admitted he was no art expert."


Dorota Nieznalska: Pierwszy Proces Artysty w Polsce

23 Jul 2003