'Virgin Barbie' and 'Crucifixion Ken' outrage Catholics in Argentina
An exhibition in Argentina entitled "Barbie, the Plastic Religion" that includes a Barbie dressed as the Virgin Mary and a Ken dressed as a crucified Jesus, has caused outrage among the nation's Roman Catholics.
The exhibition, which hoped to "blend the two biggest icons in the world, Barbie and religion" was supposed to be put on last year, but got cancelled due to protests by Roman Catholic groups who found the icons offensive.
It is set to open in Buenos Aires on Saturday.
"The good thing about this year is that last year we got a lot of threats regarding the destruction of our art, about bombs, threats against our safety. This year, nothing of the sort has happened. We are hoping and praying it stays like that," Marianela Perelli, one of the artists, told The Independent.
Pool Paolini and Perelli, artists from Rosario, have dressed Barbie as 10 patron Saints of South American countries and used 15 Kens to show "15 ways of looking at Christ."
"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," said Paolini.
"It was a beautiful display of love. Then, all Christians started going against us – that's when all turned bad. At first, everyone was supportive."
Justifying their decision to make Virgin Barbie, Perelli said: "Barbie is a world icon; she has a special type of beauty.
"Virgins have changed as time went by, in the renaissance they were portrayed as more robust and chubby, and in the middle ages they were skinnier with long necks."
Barbie and Ken were not limited to Christianity in the exhibition – they appear also as Hindu deities and pagan mythological figures.