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Politicians remaining silent about art teacher so don’t lose votes says Archbishop


Politicians have remained silent over the art teacher whose paintings have caused controversy because they do not want to lose votes, Archbishop Chrysostomos said on Sunday.

Speaking after leading the service at a church in Paphos, he also said the education ministry should take the matter more seriously as the man in question has “no place in education and he should go”.

An artist, he said, ”has the right to paint nudes, to do whatever he wants to the point of not offending the other”. When he is a civil servant though he has no right to insult state institutions including the president.One of the paintings by George Gavriel, a head teacher and artist, shows the legs of someone who has hung himself in front of the president giving an address. Another shows a dog urinating on the Archbishop.

He said teachers have the responsibility not only to provide students with knowledge but also with ethics, and at this point “the artist has failed”, the Archbishop said.

ArtistHe said when given the opportunity to apologise, the teacher started to insult state institutions, saying “the Archbishop is dressed in fabric woven from gold”.

“The truth is that the Archbishop has a simple uniform which he wears both in winter and summer and those who attend the services see the vestments I have,” he said, adding that he does not live a luxurious life.

The Archbishop said he would not have responded if the artist attacked him personally but as he attacked the institution of the Church he responded as the person in charge. “I cannot accept scandal around the leadership of the church because one person like the noise to be around himself and present himself as persecuted by the Church,” he added.

He called on the education ministry to take the matter more seriously as the artist “has no place in education”.

He also attacked politicians who have not said much on the matter. “They have remained silent so they do not lose votes, it is unacceptable,” the Archbishop said.

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