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Since her introduction in 1959, Barbie and her on-again, off-again boy toy, Ken have worked in just about every industry there is. Barbie (Ms. Roberts, if you're nasty) has had over 150 careers, including doctor, McDonald's worker, mother, aerobics instructor, Air Force jet pilot, UNICEF diplomat, photographer, and the list goes on. Argentinian artists Marianela Perelli and Pool Paolini noticed that there was one important field that Mattel never explored for their Jill-of-all-trades and her plastic posse: the world of religious figures.
The art duo created 33 Barbie figures, modeled after a crucified Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary, the Hindu goddess Kali, and various other Gods and Saints from religions around the world for an exhibition opening on Oct. 11 in Buenos Aires titled "The Plastic Religion."
The artists wrote on their Facebook page that they "respect all traditions and religions," and that their work "is intended to pay homage to these figures," but some have taken offense to the depictions. The Barbie Difunta Correa figure reportedly "enraged" authorities in San Juan, Argentina where the original sculpture lies.
"This is so out of place," one worshipper told the Latin Times. "This is a figure of faith which we care for very much and it is why we patented her image and name years ago." Despite the controversy, the artists are planning to move forward with their exhibition and have announced plans to create a series of Islam-inspired Barbies in the future (sans Muhammad).