Nuns on the run with precious religious icons
10 April 2007 , LEON – An order of Carmelite nuns are at the centre of a legal row over precious religious icons which they took from their nunnery.
10 April 2007
LEON – An order of Carmelite nuns are at the centre of a legal row over precious religious icons which they took from their nunnery.
The nuns, from Grajal de Campos, León, decided to move to Toledo but no one could have predicted that they were planning on taking more than just their furniture with them.
But when residents of the town noticed that two large wooden religious icons had disappeared, an accusatory finger was pointed at the nuns.
The 17th-century Inmaculada and the 18th-century San José, which formed part of an altarpiece, and the 16th-century Cristo yacente, which was in a glass urn, disappeared when the nuns moved on six months ago.
The Third Order of San Fransisco were unable to participate in the Easter parades on Good Friday with the Cristo yacente for the first time in 500 years.
Locals have launched a legal fight to get the icons back.
“We’ve tried asking them nicely to return the icons, but they say that they’ve looked after them for years in the convent, and they believe that gives them the right to take them,”
said Francisco Espinosa, the town’s mayor.
“We have documents from as far back as 1728 that show that they have been here much longer than the nuns, who arrived in 1881.”
A note sent to the nuns by the Archbishop of León suggesting that they “didn’t keep anything that didn’t belong to them” has been ignored.
Nor was a protest by 200 residents of the town effective, who traveled to Toledo by bus to demonstrate against the sisters’ apparent theft.
Shouts of “Mother superior, pillager,” were heard at the protest, as well as “Trust the termites more than the Carmelites,” a reference to the excuse they used for their change
of residence, having claimed that the building was run down and insect-infested.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news