Saturday, March 24, 2007

Priceless Metalwork Stolen from Penang Church

Empty space: Chin (right) inspecting the wall where the metalwork used to be hung while pastoral committee vice-chairman David Wong looks on.
A priceless antique metalwork depicting Jesus falling while on his way to Calvary to be crucified has been stolen from the Church of the Holy Name of Jesus in Balik Pulau here.

Pastoral committee chairman Anthony Chin, 67, said the century-old work was part of a 14-piece set specially procured from Italy for the church.

“My wife Agnes Loh and me were praying at the 153-year-old church at 7.30pm on Feb 23 when we noticed that the metalwork had gone missing from the wall.

“We initially thought that it had fallen off but a check showed otherwise. A report was lodged at the Balik Pulau police station four days later,” he said yesterday.

“We then informed the 3,000-strong parishioners to be on the lookout for the item but to no avail. We are hoping that whoever took the item would return it to us.”

Chin said at least two thieves could be involved as the antique was quite heavy.

“They must have then carried the metalwork out of the church. The door was locked from the outside but could be opened from the inside without a key.

He assured the thieves that no action would be taken against them if they returned the irreplaceable item.

“They can just leave it at the church’s doorstep. It is of no use to anyone but it is of great spiritual value to the church parishioners.

“Anyone who has seen such a metal work can also call me at (04-866 8581) or my handphone (012-576 3063). All information received will be treated as confidential,” he said.

Chin said two antique porcelain flower stands, which were part of a set of five, placed next to the altar were also stolen from the church in December.

“The pastoral committee is considering installing a CCTV system. Additional locks have already been placed on the doors,” he said

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