Chocolate Jesus under wraps for now

A Montreal-born sculptor says he has received thousands of offers to display or buy My Sweet Lord, his chocolate statue of Jesus whose exhibition was cancelled due to Catholic protests.

A Montreal-born sculptor says he has received thousands of offers to display or buy My Sweet Lord, his chocolate statue of Jesus whose exhibition was cancelled due to Catholic protests.

The lifesize statue of Jesus by artist Cosimo Cavallaro was cast in chocolate at Ranieris Sculpture Casting studio in New York. He now has it in hiding. ((Mary Altaffer/Associated Press))
A New York gallery last week decided not to exhibit Cosimo Cavallaro's sculpture showing Jesus in a crucifixion pose after objections that it was sacrilegious — including from the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights and Cardinal Edward Egan, who leads the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York.

Cavallaro said he has had threats since the sculpture became news and is now storing the sculpture in a refrigerated truck in an undisclosed location.

The Lab Gallery ended its offer to exhibit the statue after receiving thousands of calls and e-mails, including threats to boycott the Manhattan hotel that is home to the gallery.

The Catholics objected to the nudity, to the casting of the statue in chocolate and to the display of the work during Holy Week, the week before Easter.

Cavallaro, who was born in Montreal and raised in Canada and Italy, has created works in the past out of cheese and ham slices, as well as rubber and steel.

He moved to New York in 1995 to pursue his career as an artist.

He said he has had e-mails from people offering help, donations and exhibition space for My Sweet Lord.

Cavallaro said he was considering the offers.