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New York City Mayor Rudolph Guiliani was not too impressed with the decision of the board of the Brooklyn Museum to go ahead with an exhibition that included a painting of the Virgin Mary with elephant dung on one breast and a — well, call it sculpture — of a dead sheep floating in formaldehyde. So Guiliani threatened to cut the city’s financial support of the museum, less than $10 million annually, or about one-third of its total endowment, calling the exhibit “Catholic bashing.” Now the museum is taking the city to federal court to block the threatened cuts. Of course, withdrawing civic patronage is not the same as censorship. And, of course, the Senator, uh Mayor, couldn’t have generated more buzz for the exhibition if he’d tried.

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