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Parliamentary questions
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28 November 2019
Question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 138
Thierry Mariani
 Answer in writing 
 Subject: Church fires

Europe is rich in churches, buildings that reflect the diversity and identity of our continent, as well as its artistic pursuits, and attest to the different influences European culture has absorbed and exerted over past centuries.

These buildings are exposed to danger of three kinds. First of all, there are the constant dangers all buildings face and which we witnessed during the fire at Notre Dame in Paris. Preventing incidents of this kind is quite naturally the responsibility of all Europeans and was defined in international law in the wake of the commitment by States party to the 1972 World Heritage Convention (1) . I cite one part of the terms of that Convention: ‘Considering that deterioration or disappearance of any item of the cultural or natural heritage constitutes a harmful impoverishment of the heritage of all the nations of the world’.

Two other dangers lie in the anti-Christian hatred conveyed by Islamism, which has cost some Greek churches in Chios (2) very dearly recently. However these dangers also exist to an enormous extent in France, where what are genuine attacks on European culture have become so prolific that a civil society monitoring centre has been set up to record them (3) .

A community of Carmelite nuns, a contemplative order, was targeted in Ireland on 11 November 2019. What will the Commission do to protect these buildings that have such an important place in Europe’s culture?


(1) https://whc.unesco.org/archive/convention-en.pdf
(2) https://orthodoxie.com/des-inconnus-ont-profane-et-vandalise-des-eglises-dans-le-village-de-chalkios-sur-lile-de-chios/
(3) https://www.christianophobie.fr/
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