Vatican gendarmes attempt to block a topless activist of women's rights group Femen, who tries to reach the Nativity scene in Saint Peter's square at the Vatican Dec. 25, 2017.
Alessandro Bianchi—Reuters
By Joseph Hincks
December 26, 2017

Vatican police have arrested a topless Femen protester who attempted to steal a statue of baby Jesus from a Vatican Nativity scene on Christmas Day.

The activist, who had the slogan “God is Woman” painted on her back, jumped the guard rails in St. Peter’s Square and attempted to snatch the figure a couple of hours before the Pope delivered his Christmas message on Monday, CNN reports. She was detained before she could take the statue.

The act was a meant to highlight the Vatican’s “infringement of the rights of women to their own bodies,” according to a statement from the international feminist organization Femen, who claimed the would-be thief, Ukrainian activist Alisa Vinogradova, as its member.

These infringements include the Pope’s stance on abortion and “sacred condemnation” of contraception, the Femen statement said. The organization also explained the slogan on Vinogradova’s chest: “A child is not from a god, but from a woman! For a woman is God!” it said.

The anti-patriarchy group previously made another foiled attempt to steal the Vatican Nativity’s baby Jesus doll in 2014.

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