quinta-feira, abril 29, 2010
I found this by accident...a friend of a friend posted a petition to remove this icon from the facade of a new hotel in downtown Lisboa (note the facade missing the image in the empty niche).
I searched online and read the petition. People who consider themselves devote Catholics think this was a church image that was modified/altered to have a cat face.
People should surround themselves with means of information before jumping into (wrong) conclusions.
This is a piece made by the architect/artist decorating ALL Gatrooms hotels. This means no offense to any religion, it is simply a decorative piece, well enthwined in the Portuguese touristic scenario.
When I went there today with my friend, the recepcionist told us they had to remove it from the hotel front as it was vandalized one night. They cleaned it and then inserted it in an interior niche, in a small hall, next to the hotel reception, similar to the one in the hotel wall outside.
Portuguese are extremely Catholic but most people don't even go to mess...I was raised in a nun's college and I was raised as a Catholic and I consider myself a Catholic. But I also embrace knowing about other religions and I have to thank the nuns at my previous school that made me question so many things about the life of Jesus, and that led me to become an Egyptologist.
What does one thing have to do with the other?
There are obvious visual references and historical ones that show the origin of the depiction of The Virgin Mary with The Child Jesus.
These are Isis and the Boy Horus/Harpocrates.
Most Catholics do not know about the Apocrypha, the Gnostic Gospels, but they should. They should all read the Gospel of the Egyptians. They should all learn about ancient Egyptian mythology and compare.
We have a book fair starting this week here. Why not going there and buy interesting books about it? They are 50% off everyday from 22.30 to 23.30h...
I am posting here some images just for visual comparison and I believe everyone would agree they have the same meaning...
I have been studying an amulet form the National Museum of Archaeology in Lisboa that dates from the Coptic Period in Egypt, that is, the time where the first Christians, already living and breeding in Egypt, used Roman, Greek, Christian and ancient Egyptian iconography to ensure well-being.
The Christian icons as this one of the Virgin Mary had many influences at the time of its' birth as an image, and these influences came from Palestine, of course, and Egypt, to where Jesus fled.
So it should not be a surprise to ALL Christians (Catholic, Protestant, Coptic, Orthodox) that historical, ethnical, geographical and circunstancial influences defined what we believe it has always been like that.
Jesus himself is compared often to the Child Horus or Harpocrates in later periods of Egyptian history, emerging from the Primeaval Waters in a Lotus Flower... the water people used to pour over Horus Cippi (a type of Horus' small altars depicting the child stepping onto crocodiles) was thought to cure everything...what is Holy Water held in church basins and used in exorcisms then?
My next step is try to find the contact of the man who did the piece and ask him what was he thinking...in a good way!
Posted by Paula Veiga