Painting of Naked Mexican Revolutionary Hero Unleashes Controversy

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12/12/2019

A painting depicting Mexican revolutionary hero Emiliano Zapata naked but for high heels and a pink sombrero, astride an aroused white horse, has sparked controversy in socially conservative Mexico, prompting protests that briefly flared into violence. Zapata is widely considered a national hero and especially revered in rural Mexico. He helped sweep away the hacienda system in the early 20th century, replacing it with small holdings and land collectives. Protesters who described themselves as part of the National Union of Agricultural Workers burst into the fine arts museum in Mexico City on Tuesday, demanding that the painting be taken down and burned. The demonstration soon turned violent. Two men were physically attacked “at the hands of people who hurled homophobic insults,” the National Institute of Fine Arts and Literature (INBAL) said, adding that it gave them “necessary medical attention and the corresponding legal support.”

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