"In the eighth and ninth centuries, the Byzantine Empire was torn by a strong and often turbulent reaction against the worship of all such icons and sacred relics. This clash was the Iconoclast controversy. Launched through the proscription of images by Emperor Leo III in 726, it ebbed and flowed for nine decades before being resolved in 843 by a council whose decisions - representing a triumph for Orthodoxy - are still celebrated by an annual festival of the Greek Orthodox Church."
"Leo personally destroyed a figure of Christ over the gate of his palace in Constantinople, and it was later replaced with a large cross and an inscription: “The emperor cannot endure that Christ should be represented by a mute and lifeless image graven of earthly materials. But Leo and his young son Constantine have at their gates engraved the thrice-blessed representation of the cross, the glory of believing monarchs.”