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Cult Pizza Decor Images Feature Notorious Leaders

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(credit: CVLT PIZZA via Facebook)

(credit: CVLT PIZZA via Facebook)

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GRAND RAPIDS (WWJ/AP) — A West Michigan pizza shop is drawing attention for images of notorious leaders on its walls.

MLive.com reported that the decor of Cult Pizza in Grand Rapids includes portraits of Branch Davidian leader David Koresh and Aum Shinrikyo cult guru Shoko Asahara. There’s also a photo of people who died during the 1978 mass murder and suicide at Jonestown, Guyana.

The restaurant is the work of Ryan Cappelletti, who posted on Facebook that artwork at the business (named CVLT on the sign) would change regularly “to keep things lively and keep these debates going.”  The posting said: “We believe that the purpose of art is to invoke thought, critique and conversation.”

So, is it edgy or just plain unappetizing?

Facebook reaction from prospective patrons has been mixed.

“The thought of having to look at these people while I eat kind of makes me gag,” wrote Megh Cochran.

Cathy Newsted called the concept offensive, “… I was just twenty when the Jonestown massacre took place. This is a part of my youth that I really don’t want to re-live every time I go in for your delicious pizza. You see for me it is a treat to go out to eat, and quite frankly I want it to be a happy place. I guess I’m just old… Don’t quite get the whole shock value thing…”

Derek Kasperlik countered, “Art needs controversy… otherwise it’s just another picture filling space on a wall.”

Added Colin McCarthy, “If what you’re doing doesn’t offend some people, it’s probably not worth doing. VIVA LA CVLT.”

An email request was sent to Cappelletti seeking further comment.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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