Words: Steve Brown
An altarpiece depicting two Adams, two Eves and a transgender woman dressed as a serpent has been removed from a Swedish church after fear it would insult the transgender community.
Artist Elisabeth Ohlson Wallin created the photo illustration, called ‘Paradise’, which was placed at the main altarpiece in the Saint Paul Church in Malmo on the first Sunday of Advent, December 1.
But now, the diocese has said it would remove the image – not because the Lutheran Church of Sweden has issues with homosexuality but because they fear it could be an insult to the transgender community.
“The fact that there are two homosexual couples in the artwork is completely uncontroversial,” the diocese wrote in a statement.
“But the fact that there is a snake, which traditionally symbolises evil, and that it turns into a transperson could lead to the interpretation that a transperson is evil or the devil.
“The Swedish Church can absolutely not stand for that.”
According to the Mail Online, Wallin, 58, was disappointed that the mural had been taken down as she wanted to create artwork that LGBTQ people could identify with.
På söndag skrivs historia. Sveriges enda hbtq-altartavla (Elisabeth Ohlsson Wallin) tas emot i S:t Pauli kyrka i M-ö. Självklart hänger den i koret, bredvid den ”gamla” altartavlan. Vi är så glada o stolta! pic.twitter.com/W5TBkL8osa— helena myrstener 📎 (@helenamyrstener) November 27, 2019