Winnipeg Ukranian Catholic church leader grateful for return of statue’s head, holds no grudge

Click to play video: 'Church pastor explains history of  statue that was decapitated'
Church pastor explains history of statue that was decapitated
WATCH: Msgr. Michael Buyachok of Sts. Vladimir and Olga Cathedral explains the importance of the vandalized statue – May 23, 2019

An official at a Winnipeg Ukrainian Catholic Church said he’s not holding anything against the vandals who decapitated a treasured statue, now that the head has been returned.

The statue of St. Volodymyr outside the Sts. Vladimir and Olga Cathedral on McGregor Street was damaged by unknown vandals last week, leaving it without a head, and missing a piece of its staff and cross – which have yet to be returned.

The statue was designed by iconic Winnipeg artist Leo Mol in 1984.

The Saint Volodymyr statue. Jordan Pearn/Global News

Msgr. Michael Buyachok told 680 CJOB that the situation is now in the hands of the police.

Story continues below advertisement

“We’re grateful to the ones that returned him,” Buyachok said. “We’re not holding anything against those that decapitated. Let the police look into that, but we’re not going to go into that area.

“We hope it’s the end of it and whatever the police do with it, that’s their responsibility. As far as the church is concerned we’re grateful that it was returned and we can reconstruct it and go ahead with our programs.”

Buyachok said a package was randomly deposited outside the church’s front entrance, wrapped in what he called “quite respectable” bags. The bags have since been taken by police as part of their investigation.

Aside from a bit of damage caused by whatever tool was used to remove it, Buyachok said the head is in good shape, and should be able to be restored to its former glory.

“The handle and the cross have not been returned, but those are things we can probably get redone and placed back in there,” he said.

“This story went all over Europe and Ukraine and all through Canada and so forth, so everyone was quite interested and I think they’ll be interested to hear the head has been returned, and now we’re going to make every effort to restore it to its rightful place.”

Story continues below advertisement

St. Volodymyr was a 10th Century ruler of a region that is now part of Ukraine.

WATCH: Ukrainian community rallies after statue vandalized

Click to play video: 'Ukrainian community rallies after statue vandalized'
Ukrainian community rallies after statue vandalized

Sponsored content