Vistation Academy vandalism

Vandals destroy religious statues at Bay Ridge's Visitation Academy

The Brooklyn Paper
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A band of blasphemers desecrated several statues on the monastery grounds of Visitation Academy in Bay Ridge, even going so far as to behead the likeness of a helpless lamb.

The statues, arranged in positions of prayer around a sculpture of the Virgin Mary, were knocked off their pedestals overnight on Wednesday — and two of them were dragged away.

“Of course I’m hurt,” said the monastery’s superior, Mother Pauline, who found out about the vandalism from a worshipper attending Mass. “By the time I got out there, the police were already here.”

Cops say the weight of the stone figurines means several people were likely involved in the crime, which comes a month into the Lenten season.

Investigators suspect the sacrilege on the grounds of the Catholic girls’ school was intended as a prank, not as any kind of anti-religious gesture.

As police scoured the scene and gathered evidence — including the lamb’s severed head — they recovered a glass candle and a bottle of Guinness that will be checked for fingerprints and DNA evidence, NYPD sources said.

The crime outraged Councilman Vincent Gentile (D–Bay Ridge), who called the vandalism cowardly and despicable and promised the monastery assistance in restoring the statues.

State Senator Marty Golden (R–Bay Ridge) has put up a $1,000 reward for anyone able help capture the crooks, saying the vandalism at Visitation is “a direct attack on the values and teachings of the Catholic Church.”

The mother superior said she has no idea who would have been behind the act of impiety, since the monastery has had no problem with vandalism before.

She declined to say if the monastery would press charges against the vandals if they were caught or forgive the sinners.

“We’ll let the police handle it,” she said.

The statue attack comes months after metal-loving graffiti writers scribbled KISS-style makeup on sculptures of the Virgin Mary and baby Jesus outside of a Williamsburg house of worship.

Police said they were searching for a KISS fan, but no cops have made no arrests.

Updated 11:57 am, March 23, 2012: Updated to include state Sen. Marty Golden's outrage.
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