World Media Watch
Fashion House’s Poster Ruled Offensive
REUTERS, March 11 — A French fashion poster showing women imitating Jesus Christ and his apostles in the Leonardo da Vinci painting, The Last Supper, has been banned in Paris because it was offensive, Reuters reported a French court ruling.
The French bishops’ conference brought the complaint against the poster. The Catholic daily La Croix quoted the association’s lawyer as saying the poster did “great injury because it represents the Last Supper in denigrating conditions.” A court ordered the fashion house, Marithe and Francois Girbaud, March 10 to remove the posters within three days.
The poster shows women in chic casual clothes seated at a table in postures mimicking da Vinci’s famous painting. To the right of the Christ figure in the poster, a woman embraces a shirtless man in jeans.
Reuters said it was the second time in a month it has been outlawed. Milan had banned the same poster in February as a parody of a key event in Christian history.
Tsang Not Just Any Chinese Bureaucrat
CNN INTERNATIONAL, March 10 — He was overlooked for the top job in 1997, but now Donald Tsang has been tapped to take the helm of Hong Kong, China’s freewheeling territory, CNN reported.
Tsang doesn’t fit the mold of Chinese bureaucrat, and it is not just the trademark bowties and long scarves he wraps around his neck. The son of a policeman, he is also a devout Catholic who attends Mass every morning.
The Harvard-educated Tsang is one of a handful of Hong Kongers who has received a knighthood — for his service during British colonial rule. But the 60-year-old has a record of getting things done, and that is perhaps why he was named acting chief executive for Hong Kong following Tung’s resignation March 10, according to the report.
With the leadership of Hong Kong’s unpopular Chief Executive Tung Chee Hwa coming to a premature end, Tsang has stepped into the breech and will steer a taskforce studying ways to elect the next chief executive in 2007.
Novelist Drew Strength From Catholic Faith
LONDON TIMES, March 11 — Alice Thomas Ellis, a waspish and witty author of searching novels about domestic life including The Sin Eater and The Clothes in the Wardrobe, has died at the age of 72, The Times reported.
She died March 8, her agent’s office said, after a battle with lung cancer.
Thomas Ellis drew on her personal tragedy, including the deaths of two of her seven children, and on her strong Roman Catholic faith to produce 21 witty, thought-provoking novels and works of non-fiction.
She was also a book editor, art devotee, and for many years wrote a column called Home Life for The Spectator magazine and a traditionalist column in the Catholic Herald, which she used to bemoan what she called the watering down of the faith.
A contrarian perpetually dressed in black, the novelist — who was born Anna Margaret Lindholm — once described her body of work as an attack on the permissiveness of the ‘60s, the London daily stated.
Her first novel, The Sin Eater, published in 1977, inveighed against what she saw as the Catholic Church’s attempts to modernize.
Her 1990 work, The Inn at the End of the World, won a Writers’ Guild Best Fiction Award.
She is survived by four sons and a daughter.
- March 27-April 2, 2005