The controversial Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan is already under attack for his controversial new work at the Venice Biennale made up of 2,000 embalmed pigeons, entitled Turisti.

His is not the only work that is raising eyebrows at the 54th Venice Biennale which opens to critics on 31 May. There is also Jan Fabre's interpretation of Michelangelo's Pieta. The Madonna has the face of a skeleton. Christ, with the face of Fabre, is clothed in torn evening dress and in his dangling right hand he is holding a brain.

The theme of the Biennale, which opens to the public on 4 June and runs until 27 November, is ILLUMInazioni/ILLUMInations.