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Woman arrested in Poland over posters of Virgin Mary with rainbow halo

A woman has been arrested on suspicion of offending religious sentiment, after posters bearing an image of the Virgin Mary with her halo painted in the colours of the rainbow flag appeared in the city of Płock in central Poland.

The Polish interior minister, Joachim Brudziński, announced on Twitter on Monday that a person had been arrested for “carrying out a profanation of the Virgin Mary of Częstochowa”.

A Płock police spokeswoman confirmed a 51-year-old woman had been arrested over the alleged offence. The woman had been abroad, but upon her return, the police entered and searched her home, where they found several dozen images of the Virgin Mary with the rainbow-coloured halo.

The “Black Madonna of Częstochowa” is a revered Byzantine icon that resides in the monastery of Jasna Góra, a UN world heritage site and Poland’s holiest Catholic shrine.

Offending religious feeling is a crime under the Polish penal code. If convicted, the woman could face a prison sentence of up to two years.

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