Hindus Outraged by Artist’s Mural of Goddess Kali

Chitra Ganesh: Eyes of Time, Brooklyn Museum photograph 2014, ©Chitra Ganesh.

A 60 foot (18.2 meter) mural at the Brooklyn Museum has outraged Hindu spiritual leaders in the US, Art Daily reports. The artwork, part of the museum’s Eyes of Time exhibition, shows the goddess Kali with three legs, three breasts, six arms, and her face replaced by a clock.

In a video about the exhibition, the Indian-American artist Chitra Ganesh explained that the work “explores themes of femininity and multiplicity.”

However, Rajan Zed, President of the Nevada-based Universal Society of Hinduism told the New York Daily News that “such absurd depiction of goddess Kali with no scriptural backing was hurtful to the devotees.” He stressed that the goddess of destruction and rebirth should be worshiped in temples, and “not thrown around loosely in re-imagined versions for dramatic effects on museum walls.”

Pointing out that Hinduism is the world’s oldest and third largest religion, Zed has asked on behalf of Hindus worldwide that the museum remove the mural and demanded a formal apology from the director Arnold L. Lehman.

Zed added that he would be happy to educate the museum’s staff about Hinduism and provide spiritual guidance in order to help them avoid a similar faux-pas in the future.

Goddess Kali is believed to personify divine energy and is revered by 3 million Hindus in the US and over 1 billion worldwide.

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