News from Europe

Statue of the Virgin Mary to be moved behind a school in France

A statue of the Virgin Mary, that is in the yard of a primary school in the department of Isere, France, will now be placed behind the building so that the children will no longer see it. According to the leaders, this move is necessary to respect the laicity law of 1905.


The statue was erected in the middle of the twentieth century, before the building of the school. The then owner of the property commissioned the statue after he was convinced that he saw the virgin appear at the river of the town.

After his death, a public school was built on the property, but the statue stayed in its place. Later, in the 1990s, the school leaders decided to move the statue to a less frequented spot, next to the building. They used the laicity law of 1905  to justify their actions. According to them, the statue’s presence would be justified in a private school, whereas it violates religion’s liberty in a public school.

And now, thirty years later, the statue is to be transferred again, to a still less frequented place, behind the school building, so that the children cannot see it, thus respecting their liberty of conscience.



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