Lidl removes more crosses, allegedly not to offend Muslims

Lidl removes more crosses, allegedly not to offend Muslims

Last month the supermarket chain Lidl upset Christians by removing crosses from an image of a blue-domed church on the Greek island of Santorini used to promote a range of Greek food.

Now it’s in trouble again, according to The Telegraph, this time for using an image of the Church of Sant’Antonio Abate, without its crosses, in the picturesque village of Dolceacqua in the northwestern region of Liguria.

The image of the church, with the crosses removed from its façade and its bell tower, was used for promotional purposes by a Lidl branch in the nearby town of Camporosso, to the anger of locals.

They were apparently removed so as not to offend the sensibility of the town’s Muslim immigrants.

Fulvio Gazzola, the mayor of Dolceacqua, has made a formal complaint to Lidl, saying they have tampered with one of the best-known images of the village.

He said he had asked the chain to restore the crosses in the black and white photograph but that nothing had been done. He added:

You need to show photos of Dolceacqua which correspond to reality. If you don’t want to show crosses, then use an image of our castle.

Lidl said that removing religious symbols is part of an Italian and European publicity strategy. They are free to do what they want but they shouldn’t ruin photos. This is harmful to the image of our village and to our Christian traditions.

The mayor said he was considering taking legal action against the company.

In a statement sent to The Telegraph, Lidl apologised for using the image of the church devoid of its crosses and offered an apology:

To our customers and to the inhabitants of Dolceacqua.

The company said the image would be removed “immediately”.  It had been part of a marketing campaign to display evocative images of some of Italy’s most picturesque villages.

Lidl claimed that the crosses had already been removed from the church when the image was obtained from a photographic database.

When the airbrushing of the crosses from the photograph of the church on Santorini emerged last month, customers in the UK and elsewhere in Europe expressed anger and dismay.

The church featured on a range of Greek-themed products including bread sticks, olive oil, spices and baklava pastries.

In a statement, Lidl said:

We avoid the use of religious symbols on our packaging to maintain neutrality in all religions. If it has been perceived differently, we apologise to those who may have been shocked.

After a rapid expansion, Lidl is now one of Europe’s biggest retailers, with more than 10,000 stories in 27 countries.

13 responses to “Lidl removes more crosses, allegedly not to offend Muslims”

  1. gert says:

    I am not going to shop at Lidl because I am offended that they sop up to the nasty whiney whingey shitehawks who puff them selves up into spittle flecked tantrums of religious intolerance. Lidl … never shall I cast my shadow on your checkouts again. Only when there once anyway. I use Waitrose.

  2. L.Long says:

    WHo are their customers? isLame? or xtians? Or is it that isLame is violent enough in that area to scare the shit out of the business people? So if they sell more to isLame then they did the right thing. If they sell more to xtians then they aint too bright, unless the isLameic mafia made certain things known to them!

  3. Italian Scallion says:

    Fuck the muslims. So they get offended. Who cares?

  4. Vanity Unfair says:

    Strangely, I care.

    George Orwell: Nineteen Eight Four; Ch. 4.
    Winston dialled ‘back numbers’ on the telescreen and called for the appropriate issues of ‘The Times’, which slid out of the pneumatic tube after only a few minutes’ delay. The messages he had received referred to articles or news items which for one reason or another it was thought necessary to alter, or, as the official phrase had it, to rectify…. All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary. In no case would it have been possible, once the deed was done, to prove that any falsification had taken place… A number of ‘The Times’ which might, because of changes in political alignment, or mistaken prophecies uttered by Big Brother, have been rewritten a dozen times still stood on the files bearing its original date, and no other copy existed to contradict it. Books, also, were recalled and rewritten again and again, and were invariably reissued without any admission that any alteration had been made.

    It is entirely possible that I am being overly pessimistic but I do believe that there is still a place for accuracy and truth in publishing.

  5. barriejohn says:

    Have any Muslims expressed an opinion on the possible use of these images by Lidl? They may have been up in arms (quite literally in some cases) about all sorts of other matters, but is it fair to blame them for what appears to be Lidl’s decision here? It’s late – maybe I’ve missed it.

  6. Maggie says:

    Lidl are going to have a problem because, technically, it could be possible to claim that the whole of Europe is “offensive” to Muslims.

  7. Brian Jordan says:

    Maybe they could use this Italian building instead – it doesn’t seem to have any religious symbols.

  8. AgentCormac says:

    I just don’t get it. Why would muslims be offended by a christian church having christian symbols on it? Would christians be offended by a hindu temple that incorporated hindu iconography? There can be too much oversensitivity in these matters and it really doesn’t help.

  9. Daz says:

    Well, according to Lidl’s own statement, it’s not done with Muslims or any other creed specifically in mind. It’s part of a general policy of religious neutrality. Taken, IMO, to a rather silly extreme.

  10. gedediah says:

    Idiots should have known that what appeases one religious group will offend another.

  11. sailor1031 says:

    If religious neutrality is wanted then why use representations of churches or any other religious building? It makes no sense. There are plenty of secular iconic buildings in every city and country, at least in Europe. Lidl management is either disingenuous or just not very bright.

  12. Vanity Unfair says:

    To Brian Jordan:
    That is definitely an ecclesiastical building but could be any religion or sect. I truly like it. However, that box next to it is a monstrosity; I sincerely hope it was not designed by an Italian architect. Oops, stereotypical thinking.

  13. John the Drunkard says:

    Agent Cormac.
    Of course Muslims can be offended by Xtian imagery. There’s a bloody industry of offence that has already included just that.

    Crosses on buildings allude to the crucifixion (and resurrection) of Jesus. Both of which did not occur according to the Koran.

    Of course, if Lidl wants to avoid religious references, they might easily choose images that NATURALLY don’t include crosses, crescents, mogen Davids etc.