The Metropolitan Museum of Art quietly pulled images of the Prophet Mohammed from its Islamic collection and may not include them in a renovated exhibition area slated to open in 2011, The Post has learned.
The museum said the controversial images -- objected to by conservative Muslims who say their religion forbids images of their holy founder -- were "under review."
Critics say the Met has a history of dodging criticism and likely wants to escape the kind of outcry that Danish cartoons of Mohammed caused in 2006.
"This is typical of the Met -- trying to avoid any controversy," said a source with inside knowledge of the museum.
The Met currently has about 60 items from its 60,000-piece Islamic collection on temporary display in a corner of its vast second-floor Great Hall while larger galleries are renovated. But its three ancient renderings of Mohammed are not among them.
"We have a very small space at the moment in which to display the whole sweep of Islamic art," said spokeswoman Egle Zygas. "They didn't fit the theme of the current installation."
This is probably a toss-up of the insane politically correct need to never offend Islam, and the desire not to have some crazy Islamist rush into the gallery shooting, self-detonating, or attempting to hack up people with an axe over a mere image, as I posted on recently.