Church painting attack in Poland

Dec. 10, 2012 at 9:27 AM

CZESTOCHOWA, Poland, Dec. 10 (UPI) -- Polish police said they arrested a man who allegedly attempted to desecrate the Black Madonna of Czestochowa painting by throwing black paint at the icon.

Police spokeswoman Joanna Lazar said the 58-year-old man, whose name was not reported, allegedly lunged forward from a group of worshipers and threw the paint at about 8 a.m. local time Sunday. The painting, which depicts the Madonna and Christ with darker skin, possibly from years of deterioration and/or poor restoration attempts, is housed at the Jasna Gora Monastery in Czestochowa.

The painting survived the attack due to a pane of protective glass, Polskie Radio reported Monday.

"The faithful are calling us with tears in their eyes, asking what has happened," Father Robert Jasiulewicz, spokesman for the Pauline monastery, told the Polish Press Agency.

"We are calming them that the painting is in one piece, and that it has not been damaged in any way," he added.

Lazar said the suspect will probably be charged with "desecrating a religious space," which, if convicted, could mean he'd face up to two years in prison.

Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Trending Stories
TSU shooting: 1 dead, 1 wounded in third shooting this week at Houston campus
Listeria threat prompts Whole Foods cheese recall
Russia says missiles aimed at Syria did not land in Iran
Captive orca breeding banned at California's SeaWorld
Wrong drug used in Oklahoma execution