Rector orders crucifix count at Florence university

Census follows request from students to have them removed

(ANSA) - Florence, October 16 - The rector of the university of Florence, Alberto Tesi, on Thursday ordered the crucifixes on display in the institution's lecture theatres and other spaces to be counted pending examination of a request to have them removed.
    The application comes from a group of left-wing students and has been lodged with the academic senate.
    It will be this body, and not the rector in person, that will decide on the matter, Tesi explained. "This is the body appointed to rule on such things, the decision is collegial and will be reached when the time is right," Tesi said. The presence of crucifixes in public institutions has long been a subject of heated debate in Italy, which is officially a secular state but where the Catholic Church and the Vatican wield strong influence.
    In March 2011 the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the display of the Christian symbol did not breach non-Catholic families' rights.


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