Man Arrested for Vandalism of Ancient Church Relics Skip to content

Man Arrested for Vandalism of Ancient Church Relics

By Iceland Review

A man, who appeared to be intoxicated, ran amok inside the church of Bessastadakirkja outside the presidential residence in Iceland yesterday, causing damage to centuries’ old candleholders and decorated windows by famous Icelandic artists.

Bessastadakirkja church with the presidential residence in the background. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

The man was arrested on the scene. It is unclear what his intention was, but police suspect that he may suffer from serious mental illness. Fréttabladid reports.

The man entered the church shortly after mass finished and everyone had left the church. The damage he caused has not been estimated yet but it is hoped that most of it can be repaired.

Bessastadakirkja church was built in its current form in 1796 and is among the oldest stone buildings in Iceland. Some of the objects inside are considerably older that the church itself.

It is believed that a church has existed at Bessastadir, the current presidential residence, for approximately 1,000 years.

Sign up for our weekly newsletter

Get news from Iceland, photos, and in-depth stories delivered to your inbox every week!

* indicates required

Subscribe to Iceland Review

In-depth stories and high-quality photography showcasing life in Iceland!