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Too pretty? Fresh-faced Jesus Christ with abs stirs controversy

MANILA, Philippines — A poster of Jesus Christ with abs minus the crown of thorns and less wounds on his ribcage and face caused online stir. 

Seville artist Salustiano García Cruz depicted Jesus Christ as a young, handsome man wearing a loincloth. His face is almost devoid of blood gushing from wounds inflicted by a crown of thorns, which was the usual depiction of Jesus Christ for decades. 

Cruz's creation was an Easter poster commissioned and approved by the General Council of Brotherhoods, which organizes the Holy Week processions in Seville, Spain.

In several interviews, the artist defended his work against criticisms of being allegedly “effeminate” or “homoerotic.”

“A gay Christ because he looks sweet and is handsome, come on! We are in the 21st century,” García said to El Mundo daily. 

In another interview, the artist stressed that he did not deviate from past depictions of the religious icon. 

"There is nothing revolutionary in the painting. There is contemporaneity, but all the elements that I have used are elements that have been used in the last seven centuries in sacred art.

"I don’t see at what point, at what element, people who don’t like it don’t like it," he said to Atlas news agency. 

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