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Artist hoping to restore church statues damaged in vandalism

MAGNA Utah (ABC 4 Utah) - Religious statutes destroyed by vandals may still be salvaged according to a porcelain expert.
MAGNA Utah (ABC 4 Utah) – An artist is hoping to revive the broken spirit of some members of a Catholic church.
Sunday morning parishioners of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic church in Magna discovered their church had been vandalized.

Someone broke into the church and destroyed statutes, broke windows, sprayed residue from a fire extinguisher throughout the parish and stole valuable items.

“It’s sad someone would do something like this,” says Deacon Rick Huffman.

Eight religious statues were shattered on the floor. Many go back to 1928

“There are one or two parishioners who were there at the time and they are really heartbroken,” says Faustino Montes.

Montes works at the church and saw the statues lying on the floor when he arrived for church service.

“They were in pieces,” he says. “There were one or two that were still complete but for the most part the rest were pretty bad."

A Draper woman who saw the devastation on the news, restores porcelain. She arrived at the Catholic church Monday morning volunteering to fix them.

“My heart just broke,” says Holt, “I was just devastated."

She was hoping to view the broken statues to better analyze the project. Unfortunately the statues were locked in a storage shed. But Holt says she’s seen pictures from the news and believes they can fix them.

“I think so,” says Holt. “As long as I have enough of the larger pieces, anything that's missing I can fix. I can generally remold the missing parts."

Church teachings demand that any statue that is damaged must be buried.
But with Holt’s touch the statues might be saved.

“When it's done there won't be any lines or seams or visible damage,” says Holt. “They'll look as they did before.”

And back to its rightful place at Our Lady of Lourdes.

“If she can do it it's a miracle,” says Montes.

Holt says if the suspect or suspects are arrested, she’d like a judge to order them to help restore the statues.

“If they’re young people they need to help me,” she says. “They need to help me fix these pieces. They need to understand accountability.”
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