Lidl under fire once again after airbrushing crosses out of Italian church

Supermarket chain Lidl is under fire once again for airbrushing out Christian crosses from a church in the historic village of Dolceacqua.

A company logo is pictured outside a Lidl supermarket in Vienna, Austria, May 7, 2016.Reuters

This case follows previous controversy over the packaging on a number of Greek-themed products sold across Europe last month.

Back then, the company apologised for removing the crosses from the Santorini church, stating: 'Our intention has never been to shock. We avoid the use of religious symbols on our packaging to maintain neutrality in all religions, and if this has been perceived differently, we apologise to those who may have been shocked.'

The latest blunder involves the Church of Sant'Antonio Abate, situated in the coastal region of Liguria in northwest Italy.

The photograph of the airbrushed church was used on promotional materials in a Lidl branch in the local town of Camporosso. It has been speculated that the crosses were removed in an attempt to avoid offending the town's Muslim immigrant population.

Fulvio Gazzola, mayor of Dolceacqua, has made an official complaint to the German-owned chain, expressing his disdain at its tampering with one the best-known pictures of the picturesque village.

Lidl issued a statement to The Telegraph, extending an apology 'to our customers and to the inhabitants of Dolceacqua'.

The supermarket chain claimed the crosses were already missing from the photograph when they obtained it from a wider image database. Nonetheless, it has promised to remove it from its packaging with immediate effect.