In Poland, where the LGBT community faces rampant discrimination, violence, and vilification, a powerful symbol of the gay rights fight is coming down.
Ever since it was erected in 2012, the rainbow sculpture in Warsaw has been the target of hateful nationalist groups and hardline conservatives who have decried its presence in Savior Square, in front of Catholic church.
It has been burned down six time, reports Time.
The sculpture is a warren of wires fashioned into an arch that has been adorned with colorful flowers.
Time says it is coming down at month’s end because the city permit for it runs out soon, but notes:
“Conservative groups campaigning openly against homosexuality have demanded the structure’s permanent removal for years, while the Adam Mickiewicz Institute, the cultural organization that owns it, insists that they are negotiating a new location after their temporary exhibition license expires in the fall.”
Julita Wojcik, the woman who designed it insisted in an email to Time that it was never meant to be an LGBT symbol: “The colors the rainbow on flags used in the past symbolized a new era, hope, social change, world peace and even, in Poland in the past, cooperation.”
Nevertheless, its enemies seized on it as an unacceptable gay symbol.
“It’s a shame the decision to take it down took so long. This kind of installation belongs in the garbage,” said Alek Krejckant, a member of the Radical Nationalist Camp (ONR).
Pawel Potoroczyn, who runs the Adam Mickiewicz Institute insists the sculpture will be back, somewhere.
“It’s not that the rainbow will be taken down,” Potoroczyn told Time. “It’s just going away for a bit.”
Some say that may be wishful thinking, especially if the right-wing Law and Justice Party wins the fall elections,
“Things will be more complicated for Poland’s gay population” if that happens, Filip Pazderski of the Institute of Public Affairs, told Time.