“Cultureless act”

The German discounter Lidl has come under fire in several European countries for its unconventional packaging design. Cause removed crosses of orthodox churches on products of a private brand.

The crosses of the churches on the island of Santorini, touched away, were originally intended as photos to decorate the design of Greek products. Now they are gone.

Among others, Cardinal Dominik Duka of Prague expressed his indignation. In a statement, the clergyman criticized the "unprecedented act". In view of the action of the trade chain, he joined those who "have declared their sympathy to Greece," Duka wrote in a letter to the Greek ambassador in Prague published on his website.

Products of a Lidl private label

Lidl had launched specially designed products such as feta and tzatziki under its own brand in a number of countries. The packaging was designed with images of the churches and houses of the Greek island of Santorini, known for their contrast of white walls and blue roofs. However, the crosses present on the domes of the Orthodox places of worship were removed by image processing.

Lidl: Maintain religious and political neutrality

It is part of the own trade policy "to keep the religious and political neutrality", stressed the international supermarket chain first after first critical reactions from Belgium. In the meantime, the company has apologized after increasing criticism on social networks: "No question, a mistake happened here, we are sorry," it said on Monday, for example, in a post on the Facebook page of Lidl Austria. "However, we can understand your anger and are in contact with the responsible colleagues. We apologize to all who feel upset by the design."

"Cultureless act"

Cardinal Duka shared that despite this apology, he "can not get rid of a bitter taste". He knows that "especially in Greece, where the absolute majority of the population are practicing Orthodox Christians, something like this is a cultureless and barbaric act". It is "only" about the falsification of photographs, according to the Catholic Archbishop of Prague. But it is to be feared "that it could come soon to the removal of real crosses also from churches".

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