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Vandals destroy Coogee 'virgin'

An illusion of the Virgin Mary at Sydney's Coogee Beach was destroyed by vandals early on Friday morning.

Hundreds of people had been gathering at a site at north Coogee each day to watch light, shadow and a line of fencing combine to form an optical illusion which resembled the Virgin Mary.

Many people believed they could see a woman in a shawl with her hands outstretched. The vision, which appeared each day between 3.30 and 5pm, had even attracted the attentions of international media.

The fence was kicked over by vandals in the latest of a series of attacks on the site. A toilet bowl had been chained to the site earlier in the week, and the white fence was painted red and green last weekend.

Some visitors to the site were upset.

"I've been coming every day since Monday," said Tess Nerona, from suburban Kensington. "It's very sad," she said, as she wiped tears away from her eyes. "I've been praying to her."

Daily Telegraph

Apparition of Our Lady of Coogee Beach (31/1/03)
Australians flock to fence-post Virgin Mary (Reuters)

10 Feb 2003