During the night of July 11th, the outside walls of Saint-Martin Basilica in Tours were sprayed with offensive graffiti (a cruder version of "become lesbians"), as well as the familiar anarchic tag "ACAB". The graffiti is clearly visible at the entrance of the basilica and was probably intended for the Benedictine nuns of the Sacred Heart of Montmartre, who serve in the basilica. The police took photos and are investigating the case.
On July 8th an act of vandalism and attempted theft was discovered in Castelletto Ticino in the Verbanella Church. One stained-glass window was smashed into pieces, which also caused a damage on a statue of St. Anthony of Padua that fell on the ground. The police are investigating the incident.
Unknown perpetrators smashed two windows of the chapel of the Josefskirche in Rodde between July 5th and 7th causing at least 500 euros in damage. The police began an investigation.
Intruders stole a monstrance with a relic of St. Leopold III, the patron saint of Lower Austria, from the pilgrimage church Maria Lanzendorf, along with a second relic monstrance, as well as other liturgical objects such as chalices and incense boats. According to police reports, the crime was committed during the night of July 5th.
Around 6:30 p.m. on July 4th, an employee who entered the pilgrimage church from the back, noticed heavy smoke and fire in the area of a church pew. A candle on the knee pad in front of the bench had set fire to a nylon rope, then the pad caught fire and the flames spread to the entire bench. The woman managed to extinguish the burning seat and backrest; then she called the fire brigade. The Bamberg criminal police took over the further investigation into the cause of the fire which resulted in 2,000 euros in damage.
On July 4th, unknown perpetrator knocked over the 75 kilogram cast iron cross in front of the Heart of Jesus church (Herz Jesu Kirche) in the Upper Palatinate town of Weiden, according to police reports. The cross, which was broken off steel pins, suffered massive damage. Police began an investigation and called for witnesses.
Our Executive Director discusses the Observatory's work with Jonathon Van Maren.