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Poles protest move of plane crash memorial

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Poles protest move of plane crash memorial


In Poland, hundreds of people have clashed with police in Warsaw over the planned removal of a memorial to victims of the presidential plane crash in April.

The scuffles were over plans to relocate a large wooden cross erected in front of the presidential palace.

Tens of thousands of Poles have left flowers, lit candles and prayed at the cross, which was put up by a scout group shortly after the accident and quickly turned into an ad hoc shrine to the crash victims.

Poland’s new president, Bronislaw Komorowski, had ordered the transfer of the cross to the nearby Church of St. Anna, sparking anger among Lech Kaczynski’s Catholic, right-wing followers who see the move as an insult to his memory.

But the country’s powerful Catholic church is split on the issue, with some wanting it moved because it has become overly politicised while others say it should stay where it is as a testimony to Poles’ religious faith.

Kaczynski, his wife Maria and 94 others, mostly senior political officials and military commanders were killed in the crash which triggered an early election.

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