Friday, May 15, 2015

Venice’s only mosque is inside a church

By Barbie Latza Nadeau

ITALY---The last time the Catholic church of Santa Maria della Misericordia was used for religious purposes was in the summer of 1969, when the local priest celebrated the last mass before it was left to ruin. Long forgotten and rarely noticed by tourists in a town not lacking open churches, Santa Maria della Misericordia is now the talk of Venice after Swiss-Icelandic artist provocateur Christoph Büchel used it to house a functioning mosque as the Icelandic Biennale art installment. The Venice City Hall did, in fact, give permission in April for the art installation to be built, but a city spokesperson told The Daily Beast that they did not give permission to construct a place of worship, which the mosque exhibit clearly is. [link]