Art group feels bullied by city ruling on cow art project

February 12, 2000|By New York Daily News

NEW YORK -- Expressing what might be called "udder" frustration, a top New York arts group has declined to run a major city-sponsored exhibit because of a ban on "religious, political or sexual" works.

The New York Foundation for the Arts refused to impose the ban on artists who will paint as many as 1,000 life-size fiberglass cows to be displayed in the city this summer.

The walkout follows an art-world uproar over Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's ongoing crusade to shut down the Brooklyn Museum of Art for displaying a painting of the Madonna decorated with elephant dung.

Chicago had a similar rule for its so-called Cow Parade last year. But the New York foundation would agree only to urge artists to note "that the audience will be broad-based and of all ages."

Parks Commissioner Henry Stern said the city insisted on the rule to avoid "swastikas on cows or Klan symbols." He added, "We're not looking to censor the cows."

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