Over 30 MEPs from Hungary, Poland, Italy, Greece, Spain, Croatia, Lithuania, and Germany directed a letter to the director of the House of European History (HEH) requesting removal of a poster depicting the Black Madonna of Częstochowa with a rainbow halo.
“Using an image revered by Catholics for LGBTI+ campaigns violates the principle of respect for religious objects,” wrote the MEPs. According to signatories of the letter, the poster should not be exhibited in a museum established per an initiative of the European Parliament.
The letter states that there is no educational or artistic justification for crossing this line. “We are astounded by the fact that this specific poster is in the House of European History. We demand basic respect for our religion and the removal of the inappropriate image from the House of European History,” the letter reads.
One of the initiators of the letter, MEP Izabela Kloc of Law and Justice (PiS) told the Polish Press Agency (PAP) that in her opinion objects of religious worship deserved special respect and should not be used without restriction in commercial, social or political campaigns, no matter their purpose. She added that usage of the image of the Black Madonna of Częstochowa in a campaign for LGBTI+ was a violation of the “fundamental principle of mutual respect to which every believer has a right.”
The Polish MEP explained that the House of European History is visited by multiple tourist groups as well as students and that “such an apologia to iconoclasm should have no place” in Europe. The MEP said that she did not know if the appeal will have any effect, but “the protest was necessary in this situation.”
The House of European History is a museum in Brussels initiated by the European Parliament and opened on May 6, 2017. Its aim is to promote a better understanding of European history and European integration. The House of European History is located near Leopold Park, close to European institutions.