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A statue of the Virgin Mary inside a birdcage, without a face, is part of "The Legacy Exhibit" on view at Cork City Hall. Photo by: Via Wikicommons / Michele M. Ferrario

Sculpture of Virgin Mary in Cork outrages Catholic parishioners

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A statue of the Virgin Mary inside a birdcage, without a face, is part of "The Legacy Exhibit" on view at Cork City Hall. Photo by: Via Wikicommons / Michele M. Ferrario

An art exhibit at City Hall showing the Virgin Mary inside a birdcage — without a face and a hole through her head — has prompted calls of complaint to Bishop John Buckley’s office.

The item is part of an exhibition of artwork produced by Chinese and Irish artists in Cork City Hall that opened last month and runs until the end of this month. The Legacy exhibition marks the Chinese New Year and celebrates the important connection between Cork and China.

One of the pieces on show, the sculpture depicting the Virgin Mary, has led to complaints from people offended that she is being shown in a disrespectful light.

A spokesperson for the Diocesan Office confirmed that a “number of calls” had been received complaining about the piece.

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