“I was going into the church to pray. I come here when I go to Auray, but when I pushed open the door, I saw a thick smoke and two young people coming out running. Immediately I called the firefighters “…
Thanks to this parishioner from the Guerande region, and another woman who passed by the church Saint-Gildas with her children who had the presence of mind to empty the water urns on the fire before the blaze could get out of hand, the church was saved.
Ten different starter fires were discovered by the firefighters, including papers strewn on the ground, curtains of the confessionals, tablecloths and fabrics balanced on the ground in front of the altar also burned, as well as a tapestry.
Even though the ten starter fires were quickly extinguished they had caused a thick smoke inside the church.
The painting above the altar was also partially damaged but “fortunately it is only a copy, the original being present in an exhibition in Vannes”, father Gaétan Lucas, parish priest and Gérard Guillou, the first deputy of the city said.
The gendarmes performing rounds during the night.
“I am sad, of course, but especially for those who vandalise the religious heritage in this way, it is a nameless stupidity. I have seen that some churches in the Morbihan had been hit in recent days by theft and acts of vandalism. I did not imagine it would be us this time,” commented Father Lucas.
The investigation will be brief, because “two girls, known to the police, were arrested in the wake and placed in police custody”, according to the gendarmerie of Lorient. “So, there will be probably no need for a forensic enquiry.”
Gérard Guillou, who was on the spot, said he was pained by “this kind of inadmissible behavior”. The question now is whether churches can remain open without supervision.