1. Here's the news article everyone's linking to, which says that the famously controversial photograph "was attacked with hammers and destroyed after an 'anti-blasphemy' campaign by French Catholic fundamentalists in the southern city of Avignon." The use of "after" is a weirdly hedged insinuation of cause-and-effect. "After" is the "post" in the phrase "Post hoc ergo propter hoc" ("after this, therefore because of this"), which identifies a logical fallacy.
2. Quite aside from that "after" problem, I can't tell what happened "the southern city of Avignon." Was it the anti-blasphemy campaign or the hammering? (More details in the linked article. I know what happened. )
3. Andres Serrano sure made a splash with that urine of his! He's been famous and provocative since 1987 for what really ought to have been shaken off at the time as a mere droplet of bad art.
4. A hammer was used to destroy a picture of the crucifixion and a hammer was used to nail Jesus to the cross.
5. The destruction itself could be viewed as a work of art — like "Erased De Kooning."
6. Indeed, the museum — the Collection Lambert — will reopen "with the damaged works shown as they are." And many will come to view and talk about the already over-talked-about photograph.
7. "Piss Christ" is a photograph — a print from a negative — so the destroyed work is not the only "Piss Christ." "Serrano made 10 Cibachrome prints of 'Piss Christ." Presumably, the negative still exists as well, though the value of the prints must depend on the small size of the edition of prints.
8. The value of the prints also depends on the controversy! In 2008, a print of "Piss Christ" sold for $277,000. You figure out the cause-and-effect.
9. The destruction of one print enhances the value of the other 9 prints in 2 ways: It cut the edition of undestroyed prints down to 9 and it bumped up the controversy. And the bonus is the 10th print exists in destroyed — "Erased De Kooning" — form. It is now unique, and it embodies the controversy in a new way. Question: It is now more or less valuable than the undestroyed prints?
10. How do you know the destruction of the "Piss Christ" was not an inside job? Here's another Latin phrase: Cui bono?
11. The first linked article, from a UK website (The Guardian), has a correction appended: "The original [article] referred to the Senator Jesse Helms as Jesse James." Ha. The Brits can't keep their American outlaws straight.