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Cemetery destroyed by vandals thought to be looking for jewellery

Bones scattered across site, cremation niches emptied, and gravestones damaged in Aguilar de Segarra burial place

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12 May 2022 01:02 PM

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ACN | Aguilar de Segarra

A cemetery in Aguilar de Segarra, central Catalonia, has been left completely destroyed by an unidentified group of “vandals.”

The burial place, disused since the 1970s, has seen its cremation niches emptied and gravestones destroyed, while the bones of people buried there were left scattered across the site. 

Pere Aliaguilla, the town’s mayor, told the Catalan News Agency of his regret for the incident done in “bad taste.”

He called the events "an act of vandalism," and explained that the local authorities believe that "someone came here looking for someone who was buried with jewellery," Aliaguilla said.

The local council will now have to inform people who have relatives buried there of what happened. "The remains here will have to be moved to the municipal cemetery as soon as we can. Those still in the niches can be buried separately and the rest will have to be placed in a mass grave," Aliaguilla explained.

The cemetery, which is located on top of a hill that is difficult to access, is owned by the parish of Aguilar and has long been completely abandoned. The incident has been reported to the Mossos d'Esquadra Catalan police force, who have opened an investigation to identify the perpetrators.

The news has been met with sadness by the local neighbours, especially those who still had relatives buried there. “They didn’t think this could happen,” the mayor lamented.

According to a study by the Coemeterium Association and the Landscape Observatory, there are 66 abandoned and disused cemeteries in the central region.

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  • Image of cremation niches destroyed by vandals in the Aguilar de Segarra cemetery (by Nia Escolà)

  • Image of cremation niches destroyed by vandals in the Aguilar de Segarra cemetery (by Nia Escolà)

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