A picture of Santa Claus hanging on the cross may be displayed at New York’s largest Cathedral Sunday to protest the commercialization of Christmas after years of controversy.
The painting, titled “The Presence of Man,” shows a crucified Santa on a cross over a field of Christmas presents. The shocking image is supposed to convey how Santa Claus has become the embodiment of Christmas, according to the creator of the work, Robert Cenedella.
“To see [Santa] in place of Christ confuses and challenges those who have accepted a myth in place of what is considered the most important person in human history,” Cenedella told the New York Daily News in December, when the work resurfaced.
Ever since Cenedella created the work, he’s maintained that “I didn’t replace Christ with Santa Claus: Commercialism and Capitalism did.” The work now hangs at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C.