The cross, which was erected on the cliffs of Apellia, beneath the castle of Mytilene, was toppled after a group claiming to promote “intercultural coexistence” said it was an insult to migrants who had drowned in the sea and may cause offense to those swimming nearby.
Lesbos has been at the epicenter of the migrants crisis, with hundreds of asylum seekers still arriving every week, prompting angry clashes.
The pro-refugee group sent a letter to the Harbour Minister of Lesbos and the Mayor of Lesbos stating, “A few days ago they placed at Apeli of Mytilene a large cross, in order to prevent other people (refugees and migrants) from coming to swim. This act is illegal, unsightly (reminiscent of a grave) but mostly offensive to the symbol of Christianity, a symbol of love and sacrifice, not racism and intolerance.”
The group also claimed that the cross represented “a tool of aspiring crusaders.” It was toppled a few days after the letter was sent.
According to the Greek City Times, the removal of the cross, “caused strong reactions from locals who believe it goes against the religious beliefs of the majority of the inhabitants on the island.”