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France’s magnificent Basilica of Saint-Denis vandalized


Shutterstock I Petr Kovalenkov

Basilique Saint-Denis.

Agnès Pinard Legry - published on 01/10/22

A man entered the Saint-Denis Basilica on January 5 with a crowbar. He broke three statues and several windows before being arrested.

The final resting place of the kings of France, the Basilica of Saint-Denis, was the scene of acts of vandalism on Wednesday, January 5. A man in his thirties entered the building with an iron bar with which he broke windows and three plaster statues in various chapels: those of St. Denis, St. Genevieve and St. Anthony. He also attacked several display cases in which religious objects were sold on the spot before being quickly arrested.

“The three damaged statues are a relatively recent plaster series, and without historic value,” said the rector of the basilica, Father Jean-Christophe Helbecque. “No words or gestures of threat were uttered and no injuries were reported.”

The vandal entered the basilica a first time but was refused access to a space behind the altar, at the level of the choir, forbidden to the public. He returned a little later with an iron bar. Famous for housing the tombs of the kings of France, the Basilica of Saint-Denis, jewel of Gothic art, had previously been vandalized in March 2019. Stained glass windows as well as the organ were damaged in that attack.

FrancePersecution of Christians
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