Photo: Barcelona's Sagrada Familia Basilica Arson
Spanish authorities are reporting that one of the country’s most favored tourist attractions, the Sagrada Familia basilica was the victim of arson. This attack comes one week after the tabernacle and statute of Virgin Mary were destroyed by vandals in another part of the country.
There were approximately 1,500 tourists in this UNESCO world heritage site when fire and smoke was detected in the sacristy. BBC is reporting a ‘disturbed man’ was apprehended shortly thereafter with lighters in his pocket.
The basilica, which receives over 2 million visitors a year, was just consecrated by the Pope last November. The basilica’s story is quite unique in that it remains under construction more than a century after architect Antoni Gaudi started it. He lived at the church toward the end of his life working on it almost as a virtual recluse dying when a work tram ran him over.
This act of arson toward a religious building comes one week after several intruders broke into a Spanish church in Ciempozuelos destroying the tabernacle and statue of the Virgin Mary. The church of St. Mary Magdalen is also a historic landmark of Spain.