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Wednesday, Sep 19, 2018
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14-foot shroud depicts naked Tom Cruise, salutes his Scientology longevity

If this weekend’s release of the latest “Mission: Impossible” film doesn’t give fans enough Tom Cruise, a St. Petersburg gallery plans to provide a whole lot more beginning Aug. 8.

The Cory Allen Contemporary Art exhibit will pay tribute to the actor’s quarter-century involvement with the Church of Scientology and include a 14-foot-tall shroud depticting the actor in well-defined nakedness.

In addition, the Cruise display will have a “pop-up Church of Scentology” as part of larger exhibit “reaffirming his commitment to the church,” the gallery said.

The gallery, in a news release, assured the “pop-up” wasn’t a recuiting tool for Scientologists. In fact, the controversial church, headquartered in Clearwater, has disavowed any connection to the exhibit, calling it a publicity stunt.

Curator and artist Daniel Edwards assisted with the exhibition arrangements and created the oversized cloth image of a Cruise au natural, with his hands over the Scientology cross placed on his chest. The artwork is modeled after the Shroud of Turin, believed by many to be the burial cloth of Jesus Christ.

Edwards, in a gallery statement, called the shroud “a document of Tom Cruise’s faith in Scientology” and that he “saved it from obscurity.”

The exhibit will also have a Scientology silver anniversary medal for Tom Cruise, the gallery said.

“We are optimistic the controversy that surrounds the church will not keep visitors away, said Cory Allen, the gallery’s owner.

Cory Allen Contemporary Art is in the Warehouse Arts District at 2121 Second Ave S.

For information, go to www.cacanet.com.

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