Report: N.Y. Museum Buys Ants-on-Jesus Exhibit Pulled From National Portrait Gallery

January 14, 2011 - 9:51 AM

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A crucifix in the video “A Fire in My Belly,” part of the ‘Hide/Seek’ exhibit at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. The image shows Christ on the cross with ants crawling over his body and face. (CNSNews.com/Penny Starr)

(CNSNews.com) - The Museum of Modern Art has purchased a controversial video exhibit featuring an image of Jesus on a crucifix covered in ants that was pulled from the Smithsonian Institute's National Portrait Gallery last month, Fox News reported.

MoMA announced its acquisition of David Wojnarowicz’s original 13-minute version of “A Fire in My Belly” as well as a 7-minute excerpt, MoMA Director Glenn Lowry told Fox News on Thursday.

The controversy surrounding the work and the eventual decision to pull it from the Smithsonian were what sparked MoMA’s interest in acquisition, MoMA told FoxNews.com on Thursday in an e-mailed statement.

CNSNews.com was the first to report that the federally funded National Portrait Gallery in Washington was featuring an exhibit that included images of an ant-covered Jesus, male genitals, naked brothers kissing, men in chains, Ellen DeGeneres grabbing her breasts, and a painting the Smithsonian itself described in the show's catalog as "homoerotic."

See Newspaper Roundup and Fox News article