European supermarket giant Lidl is under fire across Europe for erasing crosses from images of Santorini’s iconic blue-domed churches, which it uses to decorate a number of its Greek and Greek-style products.
The Archbishop of Prague, Cardinal Dominik Duka, went so far as to write a sympathetic open letter to Efthymios Efthymiades, the Greek ambassador to the Czech Republic, condemning the German retailer’s decision to erase Christian crosses from the roofs of the iconic Orthodox chapels as “an unprecedented and immoral act”.
The senior clergyman warned that, “So far, only falsification of photographs has occurred, but there are fears that soon real crosses may be removed,” and asked the ambassador to “accept these few lines as an expression of support for your beautiful country, as well as an expression of resistance to the falsification of history and attacks on the cultural heritage of all mankind”.
— Jack Montgomery ن (@JackBMontgomery) September 4, 2017
The story was first reported in English by Breitbart London on September 1st, 2017, after a customer noticed the Soviet-style alterations to Lidl’s products and contacted the Luxembourg-based commercial radio group RTL.
Mainstream media outlets in Britain such as The Telegraph, The Times, and even the left-liberal Guardian picked up the story days later after it was followed up by several outlets on the European continent and distributed widely through social media.
— Jack Montgomery ن (@JackBMontgomery) September 1, 2017
Members of the public expressed concerns that removing crosses from church roofs is usually the preserve of radical outfits such as the Islamic State, and took issue with Lidl’s early statement that it doctored the images because they are “a company that respects diversity”.
Customers questioned how expunging Christian iconography from images of Christian architecture “respects diversity”, and pointed out that some of its products and promotional flyers appear to feature Islamic minarets and crescents, as well as halal certification badges.