December 6, 2019

Winnipeg
-9° C, Clear

Full Forecast

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

Church holds out hope for return of vandalized statue's head

SOLOMON ISRAEL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS</p><p>The vandalized statue of St. Volodymyr at the Ukrainian Catholic Metropolitan Cathedral of Saints Vladimir and Olga in Winnipeg's North End.</p>

SOLOMON ISRAEL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

The vandalized statue of St. Volodymyr at the Ukrainian Catholic Metropolitan Cathedral of Saints Vladimir and Olga in Winnipeg's North End.

A beloved statue at a Ukrainian Catholic church in Winnipeg's North End has been left headless by suspected vandals over the long weekend, but the church's pastor is holding out hope for its return.

The bronze statue of St. Volodymyr outside the Ukrainian Catholic Metropolitan Cathedral of Sts. Vladimir and Olga was vandalized sometime between Monday night and Tuesday morning, said the Right Rev. Msgr. Michael Buyachok.

Residents of the St. Josaphat Selo-Villa retirement home across McGregor Street from the church had observed "some activity by the statue" Sunday night, he said Wednesday.

"And then (between) Monday night (and) Tuesday morning, they saw these people doing that again, but they figured they were just playing. And then that was it, until Tuesday morning, they saw the head taken off."

The statue of St. Volodymyr was made by the Winnipeg artist Leo Mol (1915-2009), and was blessed by Pope John Paul II in 1984.

"There's always kids playing there, they're either pulling out the flowers or just standing on the thing, but nobody really thought that they were damaging it to the extent that they did," said Buyachok.

The cross that tops a staff in St. Volodymyr's hand is also gone. The pastor said the church has notified local scrap metal dealers of the theft.

"I guess they're taking it to resell, because that's expensive metal... but if they just destroyed it, and they threw the head in some trash can, it would be hard for us to find."

The church has experienced vandalism before, "but not to that extent," Buyachok said.

"We would sometimes catch these kids and say, 'Hey, don't do that.' I would talk with them nicely and they would run away, and they would be happy. But this time is more serious. It's a tragic event because the statue symbolizes something for us, and the people, the congregation, they know the statue from memory."

The church isn't interested in pursuing legal consequences for whoever took the head, he added.

If it is returned, "We would say, 'Thank God we found the head,' and we'll get the head fixed."

solomon.israel@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @sol_israel

Solomon Israel

Solomon Israel
Reporter

Solomon Israel is a full-time reporter for the Winnipeg Free Press and for two years, the lead writer for Free Press cannabis news site, The Leaf News. He continues to provide coverage of the cannabis beat while covering business in the city and province.

Read full biography

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

You can comment on most stories on The Winnipeg Free Press website. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

By submitting your comment, you agree to abide by our Community Standards and Moderation Policy. These guidelines were revised effective February 27, 2019. Have a question about our comment forum? Check our frequently asked questions.

Advertisement

Advertise With Us