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Vandalism @ Saint-Denis, Paris


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Unfortunately the newspaper "Le Parisien" reported on 05th March that, overnight 02nd / 03rd March, someone broke into the basilica of Saint-Denis. By the sound of things the intruder is thought to have gained access by using scaffolding (the Google Translate effort on the article says the intruder "would have benefited from the works and would have climbed by a terrace of the basilica") and, having done this, he broke two panels of the stained glass windows that are part of the South Rose window which is currently being restored. Said intruder landed at the level of the triforium but he landed in the organ. Having done that he damaged "the engine" (bellows?) and broke two panels on the organ case to escape. The damage was found by the organist after he arrived before mass on the Sunday morning (03rd March).

The conservator of the basilica, Saadia Tamelikecht, is quoted as saying that the "Degradations (damage?) are major." Hopefully the person responsible (who will be found, by the sound of it, in the near future - blood stains were found among the broken glass) has not done any other damage to the organ which was, I believe, Cavaillé-Coll's first and was built between 1834 and 1841 according to the article.

Original article (in French): http://www.leparisien.fr/seine-saint-denis-93/saint-denis-l-orgue-de-la-basilique-degrade-apres-une-intrusion-05-03-2019-8025483.php - some of you may be able to run the article past an online translation site.


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That's appalling.  What possible advantage did the criminal think he'd gain by doing so much damage?

Had that been in the UK, he'd have received one of those 'suspended sentence' things that seem to be so popular these days.

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Titulaire Quintin Guérillot posted on Facebook

“Chers amis,

Suite à vos nombreux messages d’inquiétude et de sympathie que vous avez eu la gentillesse de m’adresser concernant les dégradations de l’orgue de la cathédrale-basilique de Saint-Denis, je tiens à vous rassurer :
Plus de peur que de mal.

Seuls quelques poids déposés sur les soufflets ont été dérobés.

Heureusement : aucun dégât à signaler sur toute la partie instrumentale.

On ne peut hélas pas en dire autant des portes d’accès à la tribune et d’un magnifique vitrail côté sud qui a été pulvérisé...

Quoiqu’il en soit l’orgue sonnera pour le mieux pour le prochain concert de la nouvelle saison qui aura lieu le 7 avril !

A très bientôt pour de prochaines informations sur la saison 2019 !”

Dear friends,

Following your many messages of concern and sympathy that you had the kindness to address me regarding the deterioration of the organ of the Cathedral-Basilica of Saint-Denis, I would like to reassure you:
More fear than evil.

Only a few weights deposited on the bellows have been stolen. Fortunately: no damage to report on the whole instrumental part. Unfortunately, we can't say so much about the doors of access to the grandstand and a beautiful stained glass of south side that has been sprayed...

Anyway, the organ will ring for the best for the next concert of the new season that will take place on April 7th! See you soon for next information about the 2019 season!


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