Ile de Ré: in the name of secularism, an association calls for the removal of a statue of the Virgin
While the town hall had reconstructed an identical statue of the Virgin Mary damaged by a motorist, an association took legal action to demand its removal from public space, under the law of 1905.
Is the statue of the Virgin Mary at the entrance to La Flotte-en-Ré a problem? For the association La Libre Pensée, the answer is yes, in the name of the law of 1905 which prohibits the installation of monuments of a religious nature on the public domain.
As reported by France 3 Aquitaine on February 6, the association took legal action. And the conclusions of the public rapporteur go in his direction: the Virgin must be moved. The administrative court will deliver its judgment on the matter on March 3.
The subject is sensitive on the Ile de Ré, and dates back to May 2020, when a motorist hit and seriously damaged the statue. The town hall then decided to rebuild it identically. “If there had not been this accident, there would have been no debate or even procedures”, laments with France 3 Aquitaine Jean-Paul Héraudeau, the mayor of La Flotte-en-Ré.
Last December, the association La Libre Pensée won a similar case in Les Sables-d’Olonne, the Nantes administrative court having ordered the Vendée municipality to remove a statue of Saint-Michel within six months. from a public place to in order to comply with the law of 1905.