PADUA, Italy, Jan. 3 (UPI) -- An Italian mountaineering group protesting "narcissistic" acts in the wilderness said it placed a garden gnome in the place of a stolen Virgin Mary statue.
The group said members put the gnome in the place of the statue atop Mt. Pirio, near Padua, but denied any involvement in the theft of the statue, ANSA reported Monday.
The group has campaigned against "narcissistic" acts in the wilderness, including the installation of the Mary statue by a group of Catholic climbers.
The Catholic group said the statue theft was reported to police.