Cross in public square in Spain smashed to pieces

Cross of San Lázaro of Seville, Spain The Cross of San Lázaro of Seville, Spain, sculpted in the 16th century, was vandalized on the night of Oct. 21-22, 2023. | Credit: Emergencies Seville

A stone cross carved in the 16th century and placed on a pedestal in a public square next to the cathedral in Seville, Spain, was destroyed over the weekend, an act of vandalism the police are investigating.

Known as the Cross of St. Lazarus, it was discovered Sunday morning that it had been broken into more than 20 pieces, which the Seville City Council already has gathered up, intending to proceed with its reconstruction.

The monument placed in St. Martha Plaza was designed by architect Hernán Ruiz and sculpted by artist Diego Alcaraz in 1564. One side of the cross depicts Christ crucified and the other shows an image of the fifth sorrow of Mary, her standing at the foot of the cross.

The mayor of the Spanish city, José Luis Sanz, stated Oct. 22 on X that he categorically condemns “the vandalization of the cross in St. Martha’s Plaza.”

On Monday morning, once the news of the destruction spread, unknown persons placed a floral cross on the pedestal where the historic sculpture stood, according to the local press.

An act of ‘deplorable hooliganism’

The archbishop of Seville, José Ángel Saiz Meneses, said Monday that the destruction of the cross was “an act of vandalism, hooliganism, deplorable,” although he ruled out “that the intention was directly against religion.”

The prelate said the incident “must lead us all to promote an education in respect, in coexistence” and above all “in faith and love and maintaining all our religious tradition and our Christian roots.”

This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.

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