Crucifix removed from iconic location in National Assembly

image.jpg

The crucifix that adorned the wall above the speaker's chair in the National Assembly for decades was removed Tuesday morning.

Earlier this year Immigration and Diversity Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette tabled a motion to remove the crucifix from its current location, and it was passed pending the approval of Bill 21, the legislation that bans the wearing of religious symbols by many public servants in Quebec.

The Catholic Church originally gave two crucifixes to the National Assembly in 1936 to recognize Premier Maurice Duplessis' devotion to religious ideals.

One was lost several decades later, and in 1982 a replacement by Quebec artist Romuald Dion was hung in the Blue room above the Speaker's chair, with the other moved to the Red room.

Both crucifixes will now be placed elsewhere in the building.

Members of the National Assembly have long said the religious symbol was just a marker of Quebec's heritage.

Premier Francois Legault was among those who said several times that in his opinion, the crucifix of the Blue Salon was a heritage object that should remain in place.

Earlier this year the city of Montreal decided to remove the crucifix from its central chambers in part because City Hall is undergoing renovations, and at the time Jolin-Barrette said the National Assembly would not do that same. The crucifix will not be replaced once City Hall is restored.