A “Stations of the Cross” exhibition at a London church will open as planned on Thursday, but it will need a new centerpiece: A life-size statue of a crucified Imperial stormtrooper—which was originally set to be a featured work at the church’s altar—is getting something of a demotion. Following complaints from parishioners, the work has been moved to a less-prominent place ahead of the show’s opening.
The piece, simply titled Crucified Stormtrooper, is the work of street artist Ryan Callanan, better known as RYCA. Inspired by the Star Warsfilm franchise, which began in 1977, the artist has cast an anonymous stormtrooper in the role of Jesus, nailed to a wooden cross.
The sculpture, priced at £12,000 ($16,750), is set to be part of the “Stations of the Cross” exhibition organized by Art Below at London’s historic St. Stephen Walbrook church. Less than 24 hours after its initial installation, following an outcry from the community after morning mass, the church indicated that it had decided to remove the controversial piece. A representative from the church later clarified, however, that the work would instead be moved to a new location away from the altar. Read more