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Black Madonna posters with rainbow halos spell trouble

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Warsaw, May 8 (IANS) Polish police say Elzbieta Podlesna put up posters of the revered Black Madonna that showed the Virgin Mary and Jesus with rainbows from the LGBT flag as the halos. This can lead to two years in prison for the artist for offending religious feelings.

The 51-year-old artist was detained by authorities as she returned from an Amnesty International advocacy tour.

Podlesna put up the posters in the small city of Plock in Poland. The poster has drawn fierce opposition across Poland, where the depiction of the Virgin Mary and Jesus is iconic and revered by Catholics. The Black Madonna resides in the Jasna Gora monastery, one of the holiest shrines in Poland.

Police claim they have found even more posters on searching her car and home, the CNN reported.

CNN identified Podlesna because she has agreed to reveal her name to the media. Normally under Polish law, it is illegal to report the name of a suspect until the trial is over.

Her lawyer, Radoslaw Baszuk, told CNN they plan on fighting the charges in court. He argued the way in which these paintings were presented, they didn’t publicly insult or desecrate a religious image.

"(She) has not admitted to committing the crime," her lawyer, Radoslaw Baszuk told CNN. "That does not mean that she did not deny participation in this event."

"No whim of freedom and ‘tolerance’ gives anyone the right to offend the feelings of believers," Polish Interior Minister Joachim Brudzinski tweeted.

Amnesty International said Podlesna was detained for her "peaceful activism".

 

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