Madonna concert in Poland to open with film on Second World War

Request came from city officials; August 1 concert falls on the 68th anniversary of the Warsaw uprising

  • A cyclist rides past a defaced Madonna concert billboard
    A cyclist rides past a defaced Madonna concert billboard in Warsaw, Poland on July 18, 2012. Image Credit: AP
  • A cyclist rides past a defaced Madonna concert billboard
    US singer Madonna performs in Hyde Park, London on July 17, 2012.Image Credit: AP
Tabloid

Poland: Organizers of a Madonna concert in the Polish capital have agreed to a request from city officials to start the show with a brief clip about the Warsaw Uprising, the 1944 revolt against Nazi rule, in a nod to war veterans.

Some veterans and young Catholics have voiced anger that the August 1 concert falls on the 68th anniversary of the uprising.

The 63-day rebellion ended in the deaths of up to 200,000 Poles and the destruction of the city. Every year, the anniversary is marked with sombre commemorations, with the wailing of a siren, a minute of silence and special prayers in churches.

City officials proposed airing a clip about the revolt to allay the veterans’ feelings.

Ania Pietrzak, a spokeswoman for concert organizer Live Nation, said on Wednesday that organizers had agreed to that.

“It is an important moment in Polish history, so we have decided to remind people of that moment,” she said.

Poland is a largely Roman Catholic country where some people object to what they consider Madonna’s sacrilegious use of Christian imagery. Madonna’s last concert in Warsaw, in 2009, also sparked protests because it fell on August 15, the holiday celebrating the heavenly assumption of the Virgin Mary.

Several billboards promoting the latest concert were defaced, including some with Madonna’s face crossed out.