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SYDNEY (CWN) – A Sydney art museum reported on Friday that a controversial sculpture of the Virgin Mary encased in a condom was stolen less than a week after a photograph of a crucifix immersed in urine was damaged in a Melbourne gallery.

The Sydney Museum of Contemporary Art said investigators are looking for a link between the disappearance of the statue from the museum and the attack on Andres Seranno’s “Piss Christ’’ at the National Gallery of Victoria. The Serrano exhibit was closed after two days of attacks on the image following an unsuccessful court battle to prevent the display.

Bernice Murphy, director of the Sydney museum, said the building had increased security around the four-inch-tall “Virgin in a Condom” following the attack on “Piss Christ”. “It is a disturbing echo of what has happened in Victoria,’’ Murphy told reporters. “In an atmosphere this week where public reaction to provocative works of art has been unusually intense, the museum had already increased security,” she said. “The museum is seeking to establish whether this incident, with its obvious social ramifications, was deliberate, or whether it was a single mischievous act.”

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