Catholic Art Festival Draws Ire of Pro-Abortion Lobby with Virgin Mary Statue

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A contemporary Catholic art festival in the south of France has sparked the wrath of the abortion industry because of the central presence of a bronze statue depicting the Virgin Mary as “Notre-Dame des Innocents.”

The larger than life-size bronze, sculpted by the acclaimed Dutch artist Daphné Du Barry, portrays a weeping Virgin Mary reaching down in compassion toward a number of babies whose lives were taken in the womb. The work was chosen as the symbol of this year’s Biennale of Contemporary Sacred Art, the theme of which is “Ode to Life.”

The title of the work — Our Lady of the Innocents — evokes the “holy innocents” massacred by King Herod after the birth of Christ in an effort to kill the newborn “king of the Jews”.

“This statue is in bad taste and offends by the negative message it sends about abortion,” said Claire Moracchini, coordinator of the Nice-based abortion rights organization Planning Familial 06, who has petitioned the mayor to have the statue removed.

“In fact, for us this is part of the general atmosphere that aims to make the women who have abortions feel guilty,” she said.

The president of the Côte d’Azur LGBT Center, Erwann Le Hô, added his condemnation of the sculpture.

“Blaming women for the interruption of pregnancy is unacceptable,” he tweeted. “In France, abortion is a right. Its obstruction can be punished by law.”

For her part, the sculptor said that the work underscores the value of every human life.

“I simply wanted to give a testimony of the beauty that life represents,” Du Barry told local media. “How many unborn children could have been geniuses?”

“A child is a gift from God. The Virgin is crying because these children have not been born,” she told France Info, explaining that she “created this monument to raise awareness.”

The explanatory plaque accompanying the sculpture says that “women who have aborted and repent, couples who have had difficulties having children, and families who have problems with their offspring, will find in this Virgin Mary listening, affection, and forgiveness.”

The president of the Biennale of Contemporary Sacred Art, Liana Marabini, defended the theme of the work as central to the Christian message of redemption.

“These are children we did not want,” Marabini said. “In saving them she [Mary] is also trying to save the souls of the parents who discarded them.”

The Biennale was not Madame Marabini’s first foray into promoting sacred art.

In 2010, Marabini founded the Mirabile Dictu Catholic Film Festival under the patronage of the Pontifical Council for Culture, in an effort to highlight the beauty of the Church’s contribution to culture.

A convert to Catholicism, Marabini holds up the Church as “the greatest patron of the arts of all time.”

“Where would Leonardo, Michelangelo, Bramante and Raphael and so many others have been without the Church?” she told Breitbart News.

The Biennale festival is taking place until October 30 at Le Grand Hotel des Ambassadeurs in Menton and features over 200 works of sacred art including paintings, sculptures, photographs, cinema, music, literature, architecture and design.

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