The morning of Sunday January 10 was a destructive one in Fontainebleau. Mayor Frédéric Valletoux announced on his Facebook page:
– I was horrified to discover the interior of the church Saint-Louis de Fontainebleau had been set on fire during the night. In particular, the statue of the Virgin of Notre-Dame de Franchard from the 14th century and the 17th century altar, both of which were classified historical monuments. The prefect of Seine-et-Marne, bishop Nahmias of Meaux, Jean-Jacques Barbaux president of the departmental Council, father José Antonini, priest of the parish and myself are all horrified by the destruction.
There’s more at la République:
Besides the statue of the Virgin, another statue was smashed.
The fire was set in three separate places, including the Notre-Dame de Franchard chapel.
The fire caused great concern in the Catholic community said mayor Valletoux. «But beyond that, the city of Fontainebleau has been affected in its heart, with the disappearance of objects classified as part of our historical heritage.»
Another fire in Veneux-les-Sablons (below), near Fontainebleau, destroyed the church roof that caved in. Most of the objects inside were saved including the old organ. This fire appears to have been caused by a faulty heating system, while the destruction of the Saint-Louis church in Fontainebleau was clearly criminal.