The Buddhist community is extremely upset by the inappropriate and disrespectful use of the image of Buddha, in a display at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) entitled the 'Eternity-Buddha in Nirvana, the Dying Gaul, Farnese Hercules, Night, Day, Sartyr and Bacchante, Funerary Genius, Achilles, Persian Soldier Fighting, Dancing Faun, Crouching Aphrodite, Narcisse Couché, Othryades the Spartan Dying, the Fall of Icarus, A River, Milo of Croton'. It can also be seen at: https://www.ngv.vic.gov.
Although this display has been in place for some months, we have only just been made aware of its' existence. We are not usually outspoken, but this display desecrates the image of Buddha by placing images of these mythical images on him and in doing so, showing no apparent regard or respect for Him.
It is claimed that the purpose of the work was to bring '...cultural traditions together...', but this is considered, by the Buddhist community, as a totally disrespectful way to achieve this.
The image of Buddha, used in this work, is one of many that can be seen in and around Buddhist Temples and Monasteries around the world. We come to our altars to pray and pay respect to Buddha, to worship and reflect, to meditate and to seek inner peace.
We have suggested that this work would probably not have been commissioned if the central image was Jesus or Mohammed and that public outcry would have been loud and clear, especially for the latter.
We are now aware that others (including the Buddhist Council of Victoria) have written to the Director of NGV. Early responses, to previous letters, have failed to effectively recognise or acknowledge our concerns, nor has any action been taken to resolve this serious problem.
With this petition we offer the Gallery the option to relocate the statues from 'upon' Buddha, to the floor 'around' Buddha. If they do not wish to do this, we must request, in the strongest terms, that the work be totally removed.
How would you feel if an image of someone or something you loved, respected and revered, was used in such a disrespectful way. Please support our petition. Thank you.