Archpriest Leonid Kalinin, a prominent clergyman of the Russian Orthodox Church has announced that a depiction of Jesus Christ as a black person is rather unlikely to appear in Russian cathedrals.
Kalinin, chairman of the Russian Orthodox Church's experts council for Church Art, Architecture and Restoration, delivered this remark in response to the news about a painting – a variation of Da Vinci's legendary "Last Supper" - which depicts Jesus Christ as a black man, being installed in St. Albans Cathedral in an apparent act of solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.
'A Last Supper' (2009) by @Lorna_May_ is a poignant (& beautiful) challenge to traditional, 'western' iconographic assumptions. It was installed today in @StAlbansCath, in solidarity with the #blacklivesmatter movement. I can't wait to see it #arthistory https://t.co/UHByaog0Zz— Dr Emily Guerry (@EmilyGuerry) June 30, 2020
"Christ wasn't African American, right? So it's a depiction of another person", said Archpriest Leonid Kalinin, chairman of the Russian Orthodox Church's experts council for Church Art, Architecture and Restoration.
He also remarked that while one can depict whoever they like, however they like, it is a whole different matter entirely how said depiction would be recognized.
"There won't be such a thing in Russia, because we adhere to strict Church canons", the archpriest stated.