France: 19th century organ damaged, stained glass windows smashed in cathedral in heavily Muslim area

Saint-Denis, mardi 5 mars. Les vitraux de la rose sud de la basilique ont été cassés pour s’introduire dans l’édifice.

Maybe this was just an attempt at a standard robbery, but it is noteworthy that it happened in Saint-Denis, where Muslim migrants have stormed a church (was it this one?), forcing the cancellation of mass. Saint-Denis is so menacing to non-Muslims that the French postal service won’t even deliver there. Could this vandalism be a manifestation of the Islamic contempt for Christianity? Possibly. Possibly not. But one thing is certain: if it is, French authorities will never tell us so.

“Saint-Denis: organ of the basilica damaged after an intrusion,” translated from “Saint-Denis : l’orgue de la basilique dégradé après une intrusion,” Le Parisian, March 5, 2019:

It was the organist who discovered the damages on Sunday morning. As he sat down in front of his massive instrument before mass, he found that the two doors of the cabinet had been broken. The engine was also damaged. “The damages are major,” said Saadia Tamelikecht, conservator of the basilica.

The organ of the basilica is unique. Designed by the organ builder Cavaillé-Coll between 1834 and 1841, it is listed as a historic monument for its instrumental and neo-Gothic sideboard. It is one of the first romantic organs.

An intruder would have been trapped inside

To explain these damages, the conservator offers the hypothesis of an intruder who entered the organ and was stuck in this gigantic machine. “To get out, he damaged the engine and broke the doors.”

These were not the only damages found in the cathedral. This Tuesday, it was discovered that two stained glass windows had been broken. These are two elements of the South Rose, which is currently being restored. Two locks were also forced open.

Traces of blood found

The perpetrator of these acts of vandalism benefited from the cathedral design and climbed up a terrace of the basilica. He broke the stained glass to open a gap of one meter high and landed at the level of the triforium, a corridor.

The operation proved perilous, as the lift went off during the break-in. Traces of blood were found among the broken glass.

The broken windows date back to the 19th century. They were part of the pieces reworked by Debret and Viollet le Duc following the destruction of the Revolution….

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *