A topless activist from Femen, the controversial feminist group, attempted to steal a figure of the baby Jesus from St. Peter’s Square’s nativity scene on Christmas Day. A Reuters photographer on the scene captured the event as the attempted bandit was apprehended by police.

According to the photographer, the woman jumped over guard rails and rushed onto the Nativity scene shouting “God is woman,” with the same slogan painted on her back. Vatican military police stopped her and took her into custody. The whole affair was wrapped up two hours before Pope Francis addressed some 50,000 people in the square for Christmas Day.

RTX3YFEA Vatican police attempts to block a topless activist of women's rights group Femen, as she tries to reach the Nativity scene in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican on Christmas Day, 2017. Photo: Reuters

Femen’s website recapped the events slightly differently, implying that their activist was successful, writing that “FEMEN sextremist Alisa Vinogradova has kidnapped the papal doll of the baby Christ from the Vatican Christmas nativity scene in the square of St. Peter in Vatican.” The organization says the direct action was aimed at what it sees as the Vatican’s infringement of women’s autonomy over their own bodies, in particular the ban on abortion and condemnation of contraception.

Femen tried this same action previously in 2014, but was actually successful in stealing the statue before being detained.