French town told to remove Virgin Mary statue

Virgin Mary statue Credit: Twitter

A French mayor has described as a "new tyranny" the government's decision to remove a statue of the Virgin Mary from a park.

Mayor Gaston Lacroix has been told by officials that the town of Publier, eastern France, is breaking the national ban on religious symbols in public spaces.

A court has given the town three months to remove the Christian image or face being fined €100 (£83) per day.

Mr Lacroix wrote in a tweet: "I think I have an open mind, but I can't stand this new tyranny."

He added that he would find some private land for the statue to be displayed.

The marble statue has been standing on the shore of Lake Geneva, facing out towards Switzerland in the alpine region since 2011.

Secular France has enforced the separation of church and state since 1905.