Homeless man charged over destroyed statue

A homeless man accused of smashing a 120-year-old statue at Sydney's St Mary's Cathedral will appear in court today.

CLICK HEREThe Sydney Morning Herald reports that police charged a 61-year-old, of "no fixed abode", with malicious damage after statues of the Virgin Mary and two angels were wrecked about 4.45pm (AEST) yesterday.

The statue of the Virgin Mary was more than 120 years old and could probably be repaired, but the angels sustained significant damage and it was unlikely they could be fixed, the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney said.

Police were called to the cathedral, opposite Hyde Park in central Sydney, after receiving reports three statues had been hurled to the ground and smashed to pieces.

"The statues are quite old; they're antiques," a NSW Police spokesman said. "An elderly man was arrested at the scene and taken to city central station for questioning."

The man was later charged and would appear in Central Local Court today, police said.

A spokeswoman for the Archdiocese said it was too early to say whether the cathedral would step up security measures after the attack.

Homeless man destroys cathedral statue (Sydney Morning Herald/AAP 20/9/05)

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St Mary's Cathedral

Arsonist sets fire to Cathedral altar (CathNews 5/5/05)

20 Sep 2005