Justin Renel Joseph has filed a lawsuit against the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City for displaying “racist” paintings that portray Jesus Christ as a white, blonde “Aryan."
“They completely changed his race to make him more aesthetically pleasing for white people,” Joseph told the New York Post. “I’m suing a public venue which by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 can’t discriminate on a protected basis.”
"When they were painted, it was typical for artists to depict subjects with the same identity as the local audience, Elyse Topalian, spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, said. "This phenomenon occurs in many other cultures, as well.”
Joseph, who is representing himself, said in his suit that several classic paintings are an “offensive aesthetic whitewashing” because Christ had “black hair like wool and skin of bronze color” like himself, and the paintings caused him "personal stress."
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The paintings in question include: "The Holy Family with Angels" by Sebastiano Ricci; "The Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes" by Jacopo Tintoretto; "The Crucifixion" by Francesco Granacci; and "The Resurrection" by Pietro Perugino, reports The Independent.