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Thursday 23 October  

Catholic youth crusade against Madonna in Poland

Published on 17 July 2012 - 3:11pm
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Singer Madonna is courting controversy again ahead of an August 1 gig in Warsaw, having already been threatened with legal action in France for projecting a swastika on an image of far-right party leader Marine Le Pen.

A group of young Catholics has launched an online petition to have the concert cancelled as it coincides with the Polish capital's annual World War II commemoration of the 1944 Warsaw Uprising against the city's Nazi's occupiers.

As of Tuesday, the petition had gathered 31,000 supporters for the "Material Girl's" concert to be called off out of respect for the estimated 200,000 people who died in the doomed 63-day uprising by Polish partisans.

Every year at 5 pm (1500 GMT) on August 1 sirens wail as Warsaw residents observe a minute's silence across the capital to remember the loss of life in the largest single rebellion against Nazi Germany during WWII.

"August 1 is a day of remembrance in Poland. We pay our respects to those who survived and those who perished in the uprising. We won't allow the desecration of our hallowed symbols," reads the Internet petition launched by a group calling itself the Youth Crusade.

It also slams the 53-year-old Queen of Pop's on-stage antics as "attacking the Catholic faith... offending Jesus Christ by burning crosses and wearing a crown of thorns" as well as promoting homosexuality and pornography.

A spokesperson for tour promoter LiveNation, Anna Pietrzak, declined comment on both the protest and ticket sales when contacted by AFP on Tuesday.

Warsaw city authorities have proposed holding a minute's silence and airing WWII-era news chronicles of the uprising ahead of the concert at Warsaw's new National Stadium, which has a capacity of nearly 73,000.

Having hosted the June 8 kick-off of the Euro 2012 football championships, the venue itself is on the east bank of the Vistula river, cutting though the Polish capital, where Soviet forces waited for the Nazis to decimate the Polish resistance during the uprising.

The protest comes as Madonna faces a lawsuit in France brought by the far-right National Front for screening a video showing party leader Marine Le Pen with a Nazi swastika on her forehead at a weekend concert at the Stade de France near Paris.

The failed French presidential candidate warned the US superstar in June she was mulling legal action after the video was shown at a Tel Aviv gig in May kicking off the "MDNA" world tour, covering about 30 countries and wrapping up in Australia in 2013.

© ANP/AFP

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