A billboard campaign showing medics dealing with the coronavirus pandemic as saints with halos shaped like the virus has drawn the wrath of the Romanian Orthodox Church.
The church spokesman said the campaign was “marked by bad taste fed by ignorance and a hideous ideology that only knows how to caricaturize Christianity.”
The posters are part of a wider European campaign by international advertising agency McCann Worldgroup to thank health workers for their work in the pandemic.
The billboards of doctors and nurses mixes religious art and comic book style.
But church spokesman Vasile Banescu said Wednesday that the posters were not just „a blasphemous act” but also an insult to doctors, who do not think of themselves as saints or „improvised saviors.”
Bucharest city hall said it would ask outdoor advertising firms to remove the posters. Posters also appeared in the cities of Brasov and Iasi.
It said they could be replaced by „images that bring homage to hero doctors without hurting the faith of passers-by.”
The posters were created by Romanian illustrator Wanda Hutira.
The advertising agency defended the posters as a „gesture of gratitude for doctors.” The company said they were a „daring artistic choice” that was in no way following a „political, religious, or any other kind of purpose.”
More than 85% of Romanians belong to the Romanian Orthodox Church which has considerable influence in the East European country of 19 million.