Anthony M. Quattrone
A monumental 17th century church in downtown Naples, the Gerolomini, was damaged by skyrockets and fireworks which landed on its roof during the New Year’s celebrations. The church, which contains important stuccos, paintings and sculptures, was reopened to the general public in September 2009, after being closed for almost thirty years. The New Year’s blasts sent glass mosaics flying and caused several stuccos to detach from walls. The police are conducting an investigation trying to identify who shot skyrockets and fireworks on to the roof of the church.
Father Alessandro Marsano, rector of the Gerolamini, discovered the broken glass and the stuccos on the pavement of the Church on the morning of 1 January, when he opened the church doors for usual visits by tourists. The fire department sealed off the area as a precautionary measure, especially because there are big pieces of broken glass on the verge of falling. The police discovered on the bell tower several unexploded firecrackers, which had to be carefully removed by specialists. According to local the Neapolitan daily, Il Mattino, the unexploded projectiles provide excellent leads for the police, who are concentrating their attention on several apartments whose balconies look directly upon the church. The newspaper reports that the police are also reviewing several home movies shot during the midnight celebrations, which might provide additional leads regarding who is responsible for the damaged done to the monumental church.
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