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”.