The Refurbishing Project for the Saint Saturnin Choir Suspended

3/9/12 - Heritage - Saint-Saturnin, church - At the end of the mass on Sunday, 2 September 2012, Father Couhert, pastor of the Saint-Saturnin parish stated : "in the interest of ecclesiastical peace, I have decided, in agreement with the archbishop, to suspend any projects for interior refurbishment in the church of Saint-Saturnin, and consequently the meeting scheduled for 14 September has been cancelled."

The meeting on 14 September was to be attended by the parish and the DRAC which, we should remember, had agreed in principle to this operation (see article in French). Regrettably, there is still a very real chance that the latter will pursue this disastrous project, spurred by the Commission diocésaine d’art sacré which includes Marie-Claude Hortefeux, mother of the former French Minister of the Interior, as one of its members. The term "suspend" in fact does not mean "abandon". While this is a positive initiative, we hope it will quickly result in conserving permanently the church’s high altar (ill.) which is in fact listed as "property" and not as furnishings.
This affair, and the other cases which have been brought to light in Auvergne on this occasion, has revealed that vandalism by priests is not over. We therefore invite The Art Tribune readers to inform us in the future of any threats to furnishings (altars, grilles, pulpits, pews, etc.) which they might hear of, whether legal or illegal, with or without DRAC approval.

Version française

Didier Rykner, mardi 4 septembre 2012

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