Last updated : 29 January 2003 By Editor
This controversial painting of the England and Manchester United star depicts him as Jesus Christ.

It is the centrepiece of a new exhibition of 14 sporting greats by artist Sharon Lutchman.

She said: "I had been looking at a lot of 13th and 14th Century icons from Italy, Russia and Eastern Europe.

"In those times any prominent religious figure was made into an icon in paint."

Sharon, 35, who is of Indian origin and lives in Finchley, North London, added:

"I see David Beckham as a modern day religious icon — a person who appears as a god."

But the painting has come in for some stick. Art critic David Lee said last night:

"This parody of Beckham as a Christ figure is amusing as a lot of people really do treat him like a god.

"But it is a lousy painting and faintly sacrilegious."

Especially as we know Jesus was a Frenchman who had a pilgrimage to Manchester.