Lebanese judge sentences Virgin Mary insulters to read verses from Qur’an

A judge’s punishment meted to three men who insulted the Virgin Mary went viral on Lebanese social media earlier this week. (Shutterstock)
Updated 13 February 2018

Lebanese judge sentences Virgin Mary insulters to read verses from Qur’an

DUBAI: A judge’s punishment meted to three men who insulted the Virgin Mary went viral on Lebanese social media earlier this week.
Instead of slapping them with jail time or a fine, Tripoli judge Jocelyn Matta ordered the three men to memorize verses from the Holy Qur’an’s Surat Al-Omran, which glorifies the Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ.
The sentence sent shockwaves across Twitter in Lebanon, and even caught the attention of Prime Minister Saad Al-Hariri.
The PM tweeted: “A salute to judge of investigations in North of Lebanon chief Jocelyn Matta. Her ruling against the three young men in Virgin Mary’s case, and sentencing them to memorize the Holy Qur’an’s Surat Al-Omran, is the epitome of justice and promotes co-existence between Christians and Muslims.”
The case, which was tried in a Tripoli courthouse last week, was uncommon due to Lebanon’s strict laws concerning offending religions or beliefs.
In her closing statement, the judge said that the sentence “aimed to educate the men on Islam’s reverence for Virgin Mary.”


Man eats $120,000 piece of art — a banana taped to wall

Updated 08 December 2019

Man eats $120,000 piece of art — a banana taped to wall

MIAMI: The move was bananas ... or maybe the work was just too appealing.
A performance artist shook up the crowd at the Art Basel show in Miami Beach on Saturday when he grabbed a banana that had been duct-taped to a gallery wall and ate it.
The banana was, in fact, a work of art by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan titled “Comedian” and sold to a French collector for $120,000.
In a video posted on his Instagram account, David Datuna, who describes himself as a Georgian-born American artist living in New York, walks up to the banana and pulls it off the wall with the duct tape attached.
“Art performance ... hungry artist,” he said, as he peeled the fruit and took a bite. “Thank you, very good.”
A few bystanders could be heard giggling before a flustered gallery official whisked him to an adjoining space for questioning.
But the kerfuffle was resolved without a food fight.
“He did not destroy the art work. The banana is the idea,” Lucien Terras, director of museum relations for Galerie Perrotin, told the Miami Herald.
As it turns out, the value of the work is in the certificate of authenticity, the newspaper said. The banana is meant to be replaced.
A replacement banana was taped to the wall about 15 minutes after Datuna’s stunt.
“This has brought a lot of tension and attention to the booth and we’re not into spectacles,” Terras said. “But the response has been great. It brings a smile to a lot of people’s faces.”
Cattelan is perhaps best known for his 18-carat, fully functioning gold toilet called “America” that he had once offered on loan to US President Donald Trump.
The toilet, valued at around $5 to $6 million, was in the news again in September when it was stolen from Britain’s Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of wartime leader Winston Churchill, where it had been on display.