Sunday, 2 November 2008

More holiday heritage study

The Taliban are not the only ones to have destroyed religious statues through puritan zeal. There is evidence of such destruction all around us. One of our churches (St George’s, Bradley) actually has surviving Reformation records of the Churchwardens taking down and burning the rood screen there, and this mentions in particular the statues of Mary and John standing at the foot of the cross. The absence of almost all mediaeval glass and brasses in our Cathedral is a monument itself to the Commonwealth soldiers who trashed the place over one weekend a century later. So I was struck by this carving in Prague Cathedral (even though I knew I wouldn’t be able to capture a decent quality photograph of it) showing the seventeenth century destruction there: there is even a man at the top of a ladder cutting the rood beam down with the two statues beside the cross; notably others are carting off the loot.

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