A new “unbreakable” rainbow celebrating the LGBTIQ community has been built in Poland after the previous version was destroyed by far-right groups.
The dazzling rainbow display, lit up in a busy intersection in central Warsaw, bounces rainbow lights off of a curtain of water vapour and can’t be damaged.
It was unveiled ahead of Warsaw’s pride parade last weekend and was organised by local groups Love Does Not Exclude and Equality Parade 2018, with support from US ice cream chain Ben and Jerry’s.
The organisers describe it as “an unbreakable symbol of love, peace, LGBT rights and equality.”
“This rainbow signifies the start of a wider campaign to raise awareness of LGBT rights and in particular the fight for marriage equality in Poland,” Love Does Not Exclude chairperson Ola Muzinska told the Telegraph.
“Our message is: love is love, we want to bring as many people into the movement as possible over the next few years.”
There used to be a big rainbow instalation in the middle of Warsaw, but far right hooligans kept burning it down, over and over. Today, on the eve of Warsaw Pride, the rainbow is back, made of water and light. This one, fire cannot kill. pic.twitter.com/wsGA5WNGkN
— Ewa Infeld (@evainfeld) June 8, 2018
a 2012 art installation of a rainbow in support of the lgbt community in warsaw was repeatedly burnt down vandalized and eventually stripped down only to make a comeback for 2018 pride parade as a literal rainbow so it’s indestructible and here to stay gay science is so powerful pic.twitter.com/SA7gFswjsq
— lotion’s 8 (@daddypauIson) June 8, 2018
The first rainbow structure, made of artificial flowers, was originally built in Zbawiciela Square in 2012 but was repeatedly vandalised and burned down by anti-gay protesters, the Telegraph reported. Following the attacks, it was removed in 2015.
Poland doesn’t recognise same-sex marriages or civil partnerships, and adoption, IVF treatment and surrogacy for LGBTIQ individuals and couples are also banned.
A number of political parties in the country have advocated for LGBTIQ law reform in recent years, but Poland remains Europe’s second most homophobic nation according to a ranking of 28 European countries by the International Lesbian, Gay, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA).
(Top photo by Anna Jagodzinska/Partia Razem via Twitter)