Prague Catholics rejoice at restoration of Marian statue toppled by angry communist mob in 1918

The Marian column is restored in Prague’s Old Town Square June 4, 2020. PHOTO: CNA/Petr Šálek (CC BY-SA 4.0)

By Hannah Brockhaus | 15 June 2020

CATHOLIC NEWS AGENCY — A historic statue of Mary atop a column, torn down by an angry crowd more than 100 years ago, has been restored to its original site in Prague.

The placement of the exact replica of the 17th-century statue in the Czech capital’s Old Town Square June 4 was an event 30 years in the making.

The Marian column, as it is called, was erected to “the singing of Marian songs, the ringing of bells on the tower of the Mother of God in front of Týn [Church] and the applause of the people present,” Karel Kavička told CNA via email.

Kavička is a founding member of an association of historians, artists, and Catholics who have worked for more than three decades to create the replica and to gain the city’s permission to return the Marian column to its historic place.

“From the beginning, we have strived to make the pillar a symbol of reconciliation. Who can be a better symbol of peace than the Virgin Mary?” Kavička said.

He noted Czech Catholics’ joy at the statue’s restoration, but added that many Protestants and non-believers also supported the project because of the statue’s historic and artistic importance in Prague.

The star-crowned Mary and the 52-foot column she sits upon were pulled down by a mob of angry men, led by writer Franta Sauer, on November 3, 1918. […]

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