Suspected arson at church of of St Julia

Country: France

Date of incident: March 21, 2024

On the morning of Thursday, 21 March 2024, a fire broke out in the church of Saint-Agathe and Saint-Julien in the village of Saint-Julia. The canvas burned and when the mayor, Christian Lagente, entered the church at around 10 am, everything was engulfed in smoke. The mayor made the first attempts to extinguish the fire before help arrived.

No one was injured and the material damage appears to have been limited as the paintings are already undergoing a restoration programme with the Heritage Foundation. 

Regarding the cause of the fire, the mayor said that he initially suspected a fallen candle, but this was quickly ruled out. He believes the fire was intentionally set, and warns that it was a criminal act. He then adds: "The incident presents a problem as it may require us to close the church and consider implementing a surveillance or security system."

Update: The church Église Sainte-Agathe-et-Saint-Julien has been permanently closed.

Source: actu, titrespresse

Image: Wiki Commons