"The Crucifixion," by Francesco Granacci.

“The Crucifixion,” by Francesco Granacci.

A man from New York City, age 33, has launched a lawsuit against the Metropolitan Museum of Art for hanging and displaying four paintings by Italian masters that show Jesus as a white person.

The four at-issue paintings are “The Holy Family with Angels,” by Sebastino Ricci; “The Resurrection,” by Perugino; “The Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes,” by Tintoretto; and “The Crucifixion,” by Francesco Granacci.

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And all were labeled “offensive” and “racist,” and representative of “offensive aesthetic whitewashing” of Jesus, according to Justin Renel Joseph, who filed his legal complaint in Manhattan Supreme Court, Breitbart reported.

“The implication that someone who possesses physical features like the plaintiff could not be the important historical and public figure of Jesus Christ … caused the plaintiff to feel, among other things, rejected and unaccepted by society,” the complaint states, the New York Post reported.

He also said the paintings actually caused him “personal stress,” and accused the museum of giving wall space to paintings that represent “extreme case[s] of discrimination,” Breitbart said.

“They completely changed his race to make him more aesthetically pleasing for white people,” he said, to the New York Post. “I’m suing a public venue which by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 can’t discriminate on a protected basis.”

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The museum put out a statement, saying the paintings are representative of the era in which they were created.

“When they were painted, it was typical for artists to depict subjects with the same identity as the local audience,” Elyse Topalian, a spokeswoman for the museum, said to the New York Post. “This phenomenon occurs in many other cultures as well.”


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