Cardinal disappointed over copyright of Mother Teresa’s saree
Rome, Italy - The famous white saree with three blue borders worn by Saint Mother Teresa has been copyrighted by nuns, and one of the Vatican’s top cardinals is not pleased.
“Holy Mother Teresa of Calcutta is a universal symbol, beloved by believers (and) unbelievers,” said Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins (85), an exprefect of the powerful Congregation for the Causes of Saints.
“It is absurd that taxes will now have to be paid on her saree. It’s the first time I have heard anything like it,” he was quoted as saying by the online version of the Italian weekly Panorama, which hits shop shelves on Thursday.
The saree was reportedly recognised as an Intellectual Property of the Missionaries of Charity by the trademarks reg- istry in India on the day the Catholic nun was raised to sainthood in September last year.
It means those using images of the saree - in anything from books and films to calenders - will have to pay. “It certainly does not honour the saint’s memory,” Saraiva Martins said. Panorama added that the news had upset many at the Vatican to the point that Pope Francis may be moved to speak out.
The white saree, now worn by nuns belonging to the Missionaries of Charity throughout the world, is a symbol of purity, while the three blue borders represent poverty, chastity and obedience.
Mother Teresa won the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize and was revered around the world as a beacon for the Christian values.
Jose Saraiva Martins
It is absurd that taxes will now have to be paid on her saree. It’s the first time I have heard anything like it