'George Floyd' Pietà stolen from Catholic University – again

"Regardless of your interpretation, it created needless controversy and confusion, for which I am sorry," the school's president stated.

Updated: December 24, 2021 - 11:25pm

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A controversial painting depicting Mary cradling a deceased Jesus who looks like George Floyd has been stolen twice from Catholic University of America law school in Washington, D.C.

"Unfortunately, as the campus community was debating the merits and meaning of this particular work, the original version and a subsequent smaller version were stolen. This is unacceptable behavior in any community; doubly so in an academic one," Catholic University President John Garvey told students earlier this week in an email obtained by Just the News.

Police are investigating the incidents. The first theft occurred in November when news of the painting first made the national stage. For now, the wall where the icon was will remain blank. The painting by Kelly Latimore is titled "Mama," the name Floyd reportedly called out before he died while under arrest in Minneapolis. The depiction had been on display at the school since February. Latimore is known for her controversial icons portraying civil rights figures, refugees and illegal migrants as holy figures. 

Garvey acknowledged that the painting's main criticism he heard is that "man cannot aspire to become God." 

"Regardless of your interpretation, it created needless controversy and confusion, for which I am sorry," Garvey stated, adding that he asked the the university's School of Theology and Religious Studies to organize a conference early next spring to explore the topic of sacred art and inculturation to focus on the Latimore icon.

Some students were very upset by the Pietà.

"I think it goes without saying that George Floyd didn’t deserve to die, and I sincerely appreciate the efforts of millions of Catholic Americans, who engaged in good-faith advocacy to advance policies that will prevent the use of excessive force by law enforcement," student Blayne Clegg told The Daily Signal in November. "George Floyd is not Jesus Christ."

A note underneath the Pietà read, "Following the violent death of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, Latimore created this Icon in June of that year. The image is evocative of the Pieta – The Mother of Sorrows. May Mary, the Mirror of Justice hear the cry of all who have known the sorrow of losing a loved one to violence and injustice. Amen."