A statue in a Spanish cathedral showing St James slicing the heads off Moorish invaders is to be removed to avoid causing offence to Muslims.
Cathedral authorities in the pilgrim city of Santiago de Compostela, on Spain’s north west coast, plan to move the statue to the museum.
Among the reasons for the move is to avoid upsetting the “sensitivities of other ethnic groups”.
The statue of St James “the Moor-slayer” is expected to be replaced by one depicting the calmer image of St James “the Pilgrim”, by the same 18th century artist, Jose Gambino.
The Saracen-slaying image of St James, or Santiago in Spanish, is a symbol of the fight between Christianity and Islam and the reconquest of Spain from eight centuries of Moorish rule before 1492.
The saint is said to have appeared to Christian troops fighting Moorish army at the Battle of Clavijo in 844, the crusaders rallying to the cry of “Santiago y cierra Espana” – “St James, we will reconquer Spain”.
What? Not slicing off Moorish heads wasn’t enough?
Seriously, were there actually Muslims inside the cathedral who complained about the statue? I doubt it.
“The Baroque image of a sword-wielding St James cutting the heads off Moors is not a very sensitive or evangelical image…”
Keep it up!
Joel, in Spain, Muslims are now requesting to use our churches as they are trying to assert their ownership of them. The do have mosques of their own–htey just want ours too. The Vatican just turned down such a request from Cordoba, I believe it was.
There was a time when Islam ruled Spain–remember your history. This could be behind complaints of such depictions.
The images are only records of acts that really occurred. The Moors (Muslims) were driven out of Spain after an occupation that lasted hundreds of years. It took centuries to get rid of them all and it was fought for hard by the Spanish people. It was NOT what we might call Politically Correct, now. But then we’re in denial about such things. I hope we don’t get to see how this works in Europe!
If they ever auction that statue, I pray I’d be rich enough to buy it…
Put it on your lawn and watch the ACLU throw a hissy fit. 🙂