Stanford Professor Says Woman Destroyed Copy of His Controversial Artwork

By Monte Whaley
Mercury News
October 10, 2010

Kathleen Lorie Folden drove 690-miles from Kalispell, Mont., to a suburb of Denver, Colorado, specifically to destroy a work of art that some interpret as portraying Jesus Christ involved in a sex act, according to arrest papers released a day after Folden accomplished her goal.

Folden, 56, targeted "The Misadventures of Romantic Cannibals" for "religious reasons," according to an arrest affidavit released Thursday.

Folden was arrested by Loveland, Colorado police Wednesday afternoon at the Loveland Museum/Gallery and faces a felony charge of criminal mischief and fine up to $2,000.

On Thursday, Folden made her first court appearance and a Larimer magistrate judge granted her release on $350 bond. The money was posted by a person who asked to remain anonymous. Folden can return to Montana for work, but must appear back in Larimer County District Court on Oct. 15.

As she left jail, she declined questions, but told reporters, "just remember, God is real."

Folden's attack on the art work brought comment from across the country on Thursday, from First Amendment defenders, art critics and even the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

"We deplore violence, especially this kind of violence which deters honest discussion of religion, sex and crime," said a statement from David Clohessy, director of SNAP.

The museum had been targeted by protestors for a week, claiming the artwork was blasphemous and pornographic.

Folden, a truck driver, told police she drove from Montana "for the sole purpose" of destroying the artwork. She told police she parked her truck a short distance away from the downtown museum, obtained the crowbar and concealed it before walking into the museum.

She broke the Plexiglas case and then proceeded to "tear the art piece into several small pieces destroying it," the affidavit said.

Folden was dressed in a shirt that said "Tougher Than Nails" and witnesses said when she broke through Plexiglas she screamed "How can you desecrate my Lord?"

Folden was allowed to leave the state under certain conditions. Her next court appearance is scheduled for Oct. 15 in Larimer County District Court.

The artwork is a lithograph created by Stanford University's Enrique Chagoya, who said Wednesday the piece she destroyed was a print and not the original.

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