‘Blasphemous’ Jesus painting disappears from artist’s home

WILL whoever nicked an anti-war painting of Jesus – strapped to the gun turret of tank while wearing a red nose – please give it back.

The painting, by Gavin Mayhew, sparked a blasphemy row back in 1993. A public outcry prompted its removal from an exhibition Crook Civic Centre, in County Durham.

He took it home when council officials threatened to cancel his exhibition, and it went with him when he moved from Wolsingham to the upper Weardale village of Westgate.

Another of his paintings, The Big Bang, was also removed from Crook Civic Centre in 1996 when council officials realised it contained male and female sex organs.


According to The Northern Echo, the former art teacher – who describes his repertoire as “schizophrenic” – had become used to seeing the familiar canvas hanging in the hall of his home, Crag Villa, until this summer when it disappeared while he was on a working trip to Germany.

He can’t understand where it has gone. There has been no sign of a break-in and none of his friends has admitted to taking it as a joke.

Said Mayhew:

It is a complete mystery. It had just gone when I got back. It can’t have been a practical joke because I would have been told by now and I’ve asked all my friends and relatives in case I had forgotten lending it to them.

It was one of my favourite paintings, but people never understood it. It was meant to be anti-war, but people thought it was anti-religion and accused me of blasphemy.

I have always been fond of it and got used to it hanging in the front passage. The only explanation I can come up with is that some religious person somehow knocked on the door and was offended by it.

The painting still appears for sale on the Artflock website for £1,500.00

Anyone with information about the missing picture is asked to call 01388-517308.

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