National Theatre's School Performances use Statue of Virgin Mary as Symbol of Extremism

Country: Slovakia

Date of incident: February 9, 2017

Category: Social Hostility / Intolerance

Attack against: Faith

Area of case: Arts / Education / Private

The Slovak National Theatre visited schools with a performance about the dangers of extremism, depicting the true story of a Roma family being attacked by skinheads in 2009. Without any explanation, the stage setting includes a statue of the Virgin Mary in front of a swastika symbol. A complaint has been filed on the grounds that this has insulted and defamed the Catholic Church by implying that the Church was somehow complicit in the crime.

Reports indicate that perhaps the statue is an attempt to make a connection between the crime and the Catholic priest Jozef Tiso, who was president of Slovak Republic during the war. The complaint demands that the government investigate the allegations and for an interim measure to suspend production. Source: Hlavné Správy