In the late 15th century, Leonardo da Vinci made a mural painting called The Last Supper.
As the name depicts, this religious painting represents the scene of Jesus’ last meal with His 12 disciples, before his crucifixion. (John 13: 1-38)
This iconic religious painting has been recreated by Brazil’s Miss Bumbum contestants, with the woman with the ‘sexiest’ bottom playing Jesus and other bikini-clad women as the disciples, DailyMail reports.
According to the founder of the Miss Bumbum competition, Cacau Oliver, the purpose of this image was not to annoy anyone, adding that the picture was “not offensive to the church.”
“It was the last meeting of the women before the grand final. It reminded me of the Last Supper. It was where Jesus was betrayed by Judas, because of jealousy, and like it or not the woman with the most votes is also the target of jealousy. She is at the centre, and the other girls will want to crucify her because she got more votes than them”, he said.
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However, this image has not been received well by Brazil, which is a deeply religious country, with majority of Catholics.
In a statement, Babalawo Ivanir dos Santos, from Brazil’s Commission to Combat Religious Intolerance, said the image shows “that intolerance is not just confined to African religions.”
He has been supported by other religious leaders, who say the Da Vinci masterpiece recreation is “deeply disrespectful.”
According to Father Clesio Vieira, from the Volta Redonda diocese of Rio de Janeiro, the picture is offensive to Catholics.
“Everyone’s talking about it. It has broken the boundaries of ethics and respect, all in the name of money. This isn’t creativity, it’s the vulgarisation of the sacred and is deeply disrespectful.”
The picture was also criticised by the assistant bishop of Rio de Janeiro, Antonio Augusto Dias Duarte, who said he is against women showing their bottoms, regardless of the setting.
“Women need to be valued for their role as a wife, mother, professional, and for her intellectual and cultural qualities,” he added.
In light of all of these backlash, the Miss Bumbum contestants have apologised to the public.
Daiana Fegueredo, the woman with the ‘sexiest’ bottom, chosen to play Jesus in the photo says: “I did the photo because of my contract. But I didn’t like it and I wasn’t happy about it. You can’t play around with the word of God.
I completely understand people being angry about it, because even I’m angry and I’m in it. For me it is blasphemy.
I feel really bad deep inside of me. I’m a practising Catholic. Since I did the photo my heart is tight inside my chest, I can’t sleep and I don’t stop thinking about it. I’ve already asked forgiveness from God, and I ask forgiveness from everyone else. We went too far. We were part of a great sin.”
Danny Morais, another contestant, realised a similar statement.
“Afterwards I was filled with remorse. God knows my heart and knows I wasn’t being bad. I think we can be controversial in other ways, but not using God’s name, not using a biblical story,” she said.