Monday, February 3, 2014

Post-yugoslav hell

On 31 January the BBC News website focused on a fresco in the Church of the Resurrection in Podgorica that depicted hell. Within a vivid red inferno and in the company of biblical figures that have been condemned to burn in hell, one can see figures bearing a resemblance to an ageless Josip Broz Tito (or Michael Caine cast to impersonate him), Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels and, behind them barely discernible, Lenin and Stalin. The anonymous artist assumed that propagating and 'implementing' communism was a deadly sin but carefully steered away from any similar judgments as far as the opportunistic nationalism that traumatized the societies of former Yugoslavia are concerned. So no Milosevic, Bulatovic, Karadzic or Mladic are discernible in the political hell featured in the walls of the Church of the Resurrection, perhaps while the verdicts on their genocide indictments are pending ...

A church in Montenegro has sparked controversy by displaying a fresco depicting Yugoslav communist leader Josip Broz Tito in the fires of hell with Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.

The newly built Church of Resurrection in the capital Podgorica has already drawn criticism for its lavish design.

Critics now say the church should not be interfering in politics.

Works by philosophers Marx and Engels were required reading when Montenegro was part of communist Yugoslavia.

One church leader, named only as Dragan, told the Agence France-Presse news agency that Marx, Engels and Tito "personify communist evil in the Balkans" and the artist should be "allowed the freedom to see things as he wishes".

However, he added: "He cannot judge, in the name of the Church, who belongs in hell or heaven."
 You can read the entire BBC story here

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