Cops are on the lookout for a pair of young men caught on video knocking over a decades-old statue of the Virgin Mary in front of a Brooklyn Heights parish house last week. The act of vandalism is a slap in the face to Catholics and to the neighborhood as a whole, said the church’s priest.
“It’s like if you burned a picture of my mother,” said Father Edward Doran of St. Charles Borromeo Church on Sidney Place between Aitken Place and Joralemon Street.
The security footage, which was captured in the wee hours of June 12, shows a man open a gate into the garden, wrap the Blessed Mother in a bear-hug, tear the statue from its pedestal, and lower it to the ground — all while his buddy films the incident on his cell phone. The blasphemous blockheads then run off into the night.
The statue, a four-foot bronze depiction of the Virgin Mary holding baby Jesus, has graced the front of the Charles Borromeo parish house since the 1960s.
Doran said the church will have to pay thousands of dollars to restore the statue, which is currently lying in the basement of the parish house. It will also have to hire landscapers to tear up and replant the garden in order to get Mary back on her feet, he said.
The duo’s motive in defacing the statue is unclear, but Doran speculated that it could have been a dare or some sort of “initiation ritual,” as the vandals appeared to be young and doing it for kicks.
The clergyman said he would have had to answer to a higher authority than the 84th Precinct for such a brazen and disrespectful act when he was a young man growing up in Long Island.
“My father would have kicked my a--,” Doran said.