Nick Hallett – January 6, 2017
Police are hunting vandals after a series of chapels and shrines were desecrated within the space of a few days in northern Austria.
Statues have been beheaded, prayer books burned and sacred images destroyed since the New Year in the Innviertel region on the Bavarian border.
On New Year’s Eve, the vandals struck a chapel in the village of St Radegund, damaging a statue of the Virgin Mary before burning prayer books and wooden objects from the chapel in a nearby wood.
That same day, another chapel at the nearby town of Auerbach was also attacked, with vandals smashing the glass guarding two Virgin Mary statues and stealing at least 22 murals, which they also burned in a wood.
ORF says the chapel is visited by about 20 people per day due to the supposed healing qualities of a nearby well.