I live in Hong Kong, and something that I have often noticed in the churches here is that, looking back at the old photos of the churches, Mary was placed above the altar rather than to the side, but the statues have been removed from above the altar and placed to the side.
This is what it used to look like:
Now the statue has been replaced by a crucifix.
I asked a nun recently why it was removed, as was the case with MANY other churches dedicated to the BVM, she said that it was liturgically incorrect to place a statue of the BVM above the altar because the Mass was the sacrifice of Christ and that Jesus is the center of our faith, hence the reason for the statue's removal.
It seems to have been ok before Vatican II, and I know of many extremely old churches in other countries with the statue of the BVM placed above the altar.
Is this true?
Thanks and God bless :D !