PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A revered statue at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul was desecrated by vandals. The outline of one of Philadelphia’s most historic figures is all that remains.
The statue of Saint John Neumann, the fourth bishop of Philadelphia and the architect of the Catholic school system across the country, was desecrated last month. Parts of the shrine were vandalized. It’s believed rocks or bottles were used.READ MORE: Enhanced Risk For Severe Weather Across Philadelphia Region Monday Afternoon
The crime at the shrine that sits outside the front steps of the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul went unnoticed until the following morning.
“It was seriously vandalized and by that I mean, the statue was destroyed,” Father Dennis Gill, the rector of the Cathedral, said.
The desecration was not captured by cameras.
Eyewitness News obtained photos of the broken statue — the head and an arm are detached and in places, chipped.
Lou DiCocco of the Saint Jude Shop in Havertown will oversee a team responsible for repairs.READ MORE: All Eyes On Pennsylvania Primary As Tuesday's Election Day Approaches
“Fortunately, we’re surrounding ourselves with artists and craftsmen both here as well as our quarry in Italy,” DiCocco said.
The job is expected to take time and require extensive attention.
“Marble is unique in that when you break marble, it needs to be sealed, you don’t want any joints or any moisture to come in,” DiCocco said.
Gill believes the incident is but an example of a larger crisis gripping the city.
“That type of violence that we see against human life, as horrific as that is, spills over into all kinds of other destructive behaviors,” Gill said, “and the vandalism to this shrine was unnecessary destructive action.”MORE NEWS: Police: 14-Year-Old Boy Shot In Leg In Philadelphia's Haddington Neighborhood
“I think all of Philadelphians have to work together in a concentrated way to address the issue of violence on every level,” Gill added. “Because violence is not only real when someone is shot on the streets, but it’s real in so many ways that we interact with each other and also how we are violent in regard to people’s property, with the Earth. We can go on in so many ways how violence has just become part of the fabric of our society and it’s only going to change if we make a conscious commitment together to address it.”