Vandals deface Black Madonna mosaic in Netherlands

Vandals have defaced a Black Madonna mosaic representing Our Lady of Częstochowa in the southern-Netherlands’ city of Breda.

They also daubed the letters “BLM” beneath it.

Breda’s mayor, Paul Depla, says the incident is “particularly sad for the Polish community, for which the monument is of great value”.

The image of Our Lady of Częstochowa – also known as the Black Madonna – is revered by Poles.

It was erected in a park in Breda in 1954 in thanksgiving for the city’s liberation from the Nazis.

The Polish 1st Armored Division, commanded by General Stanisław Maczek, freed the city on October 29, 1944.

After the war, 40,000 inhabitants of Breda signed a petition to award him honorary Dutch citizenship. He is now buried alongside his fallen soldiers at a Breda cemetery.

The organizers of a recent ‘racial justice’ protest in the city have also spoken out against the vandalism.

Spokesman Patrick van Lunteren says none of the protest organizers know who was responsible for it.

“This hurts the Polish community and that is not the intention [of the demonstration]. People are now open to dialogue, but with these kinds of actions you lose sympathy.”

Frans Ruczynski, who is a former chairman of the General Maczek Museum, which commemorates Breda’s liberators, says the vandalism is an insult to the Polish community.

“Polish people are very religious. Every Sunday they go to church, with hundreds in Breda. Why would you want to hurt them? We don’t know if it comes from the left or right corner. But when it comes to Black Lives Matter, I don’t understand it. The Black Madonna has nothing to do with oppression at all.”

The original image of the Black Madonna is at the Jasna Góra Monastery in Częstochowa, which is Poland’s most popular place of pilgrimage.

Breda authorities have now removed the BLM graffiti from the mosaic.


  • Catholic News Agency
  • Image: Catholic News Agency
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