Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Fire by suspected arsonist at Sagrada Familia

According to the Telegraph (UK)
Four people were treated for smoke inhalation, according to Catalan regional police, who added that around 1,500 people had been evacuated from architect Antoni Gaudi's unfinished masterpiece.

The towering basilica is one of the top draws in Spain's second-largest city and in all of Spain, receiving more than two million visitors a year.

The official said some tourists saw smoke coming from inside the sacristy and alerted authorities, and the suspected arsonist was arrested.
Thomas Peters adds further:
The damage tally at this point is:

- smoke damage/smell throughout the entire building but particularly in the crypt
- all of the vestments and furniture in the sacristy destroyed (none by Gaudi)
- walls of the sacristy have been blackened
- speculation that all or part of the basilica’s electrical system will have to be replaced due to smoke damage.
Fortunately, it looks like nobody was hurt badly. There seems to be an uptick of anti-religious fervor in Spain as there have been many other reports of church vandalism. The pope is going to Madrid this summer for World Youth Day. It will be interesting to see what happens then. Having had the opportunity to visit beautiful Spain last year, it was awesome to experience its rich tapestry of religious history.

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