OK City Funds 3rd Attempt for Public Religious Art

October 15, 2008

Author: Staff Writer

Source: The Examiner


A conservative Oklahoma City suburb with a history of trying to incorporate religious art into public spaces has approved city funds to help pay for a statue of Jesus Christ to be placed downtown for Christmas, likely leading to another court fight.

The Edmond Visual Arts Commission last month approved $3,900 to help pay for the 26-inch-tall bronze statue titled "Come Unto Me." It will be placed in front of a downtown shop called Sacred Heart Catholic Gifts.

The vote was 6-2 with one member abstaining.

Just last year, the arts commission backed down from a decision to use public funds on a $17,500 statue of Moses at Edmond's First Christian Church. After public outcry, the commission unanimously agreed to allow private donors to buy the city's stake in the statue.

A decade ago, the city about 10 miles north of Oklahoma City, was forced to pay more than $200,000 in legal fees after losing a court battle to keep a cross on its city seal.