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'Tolerance Rainbow' torched once again

Polish Express
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'Tolerance Rainbow' torched once again

A man was arrested on Sunday morning after he set alight a controversial Warsaw rainbow installation that is regarded as a symbol of tolerance towards the LGBT community.

Kamil S. (full name withheld under Polish privacy laws) was apparently drunk when he approached the rainbow shortly after 1 am local time.

Police were called shortly after smoke was seen billowing up from the installation, which is constructed from artificial flowers.

The flames were extinguished swiftly, and as a result, only a relatively small section of the rainbow was damaged.

The 25-year-old suspect was arrested right by the installation on Warsaw's Saviour Square (Plac Zbawiciela).

Previous incidents

Several attempts have been made to burn the rainbow since it was erected in Warsaw in 2012.

On 11 November 2013, the installation was reduced to charred ashes after being torched during an annual Independence Day march held by nationalists.

The rainbow, which was originally mounted in front of the European Parliament in Brussels, drew controversy in Poland, with opponents arguing that the installation was anathema to Roman Catholic values.

The installation stands opposite the Church of the Holiest Saviour.

Artist Julita Wojcik said that in 2011, when she created the rainbow, “Poland was seen as a homophobic country.”

“I wanted to show that we’re not closed, but open-minded.”

Warsaw mayor, Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz, who was re-elected has said that the rainbow will be reconstructed each time the installation is damaged.

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