LEGENDS OF THE PAST_A EUROPEAN HERITAGE

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Saturday, January 9, 2010

THE LEGEND OF THE GOLDEN MARY



This legend deals with a statue of a golden Mary at the top of a basilica in Albert, a town in the north of France, 30 minute drive from Amiens

The golden Virgin that stands at a height of 75 metres contributed to making the Albert basilica a place known all over the world.

In 1915, during the First World War, a shell hit the dome supporting the statue and made it lean in a precarious and impressive equilibrium. Reproduced on postcards, the picture of the devastated basilica and its "leaning virgin" was sent across the world by soldiers to their family. It thus showed the violence and the horror of war.

The "leaning virgin" became the symbol of the end of the war for the soldiers, because they believed that the fall of the statue would mean the end of the war.

This prediction nearly came true. The statue fell in April 1918, and the war was to end a few months later, in November 1918.

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