From The Catholic Register in Canada:
A controversial artwork that a former Montreal mayor ordered destroyed on the eve of the 1976 Olympics because it was disrespectful to the Church has been recast and installed near a historic religious institution in spite of objections from the convent’s superior general.
Entitled Croix de Mont Royal, the illuminated giant cross was originally designed 40 years ago by multi-media artist Pierre Ayot as part of an Olympic art exhibit. The fallen cross was meant to symbolize the decline of the powerful, and sometimes corrupt, influence of the Church in Quebec. But former Mayor Jean Drapeau found the multi-work exhibit that included the cross distasteful and had it dismantled without notice two days before it was to open. He ordered that all the artworks, including the cross, be destroyed. The $1.5-million show was to have been mounted along a six-kilometre stretch of Sherbrooke Street as part of a cultural program called Corridart during the 1976 Olympics. It involved several Quebec artists and was intended to showcase the artistic talent of the province. The large cross is a replica of the iconic Montreal landmark atop Mount Royal except that, rather than standing erect, the cross is toppled on its side. The replica was created this year to promote an international art show called Montreal Biennale, which opened Oct. 19 and involves 55 artists from 24 countries. The cross was installed earlier this month below Mount Royal in Jeanne Mance Park, near the soon-to-be-vacated Hotel Dieu Hospital.
Photo: Alan Hustak/Catholic Register