Statues replaced at Sudbury shrine after vandalism in 2020

There are currently a dozen statues at the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes property, and all are from the 1950s.

In the summer of 2020, six of the statues were beheaded by vandals.

“There was a lot of going back and forth with the artist who basically had to reconstruct the statues,” said David Sirois, of the Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie.

“So, they did the clay statues initially and then from there they did the mould and then they poured the bronze and that was done overseas. Then last fall we did get the shipment of the statues, but it was a little too late in the season to install them because it was too cold. So just last week it was warm enough that we were finally able to put them back on site.”

Although the cost of replacing the statues is not being disclosed, Sirois said insurance covered most of the expense. He added that the vandals were never caught.

“We never found any information on who or why they did it," he said.

"Although, we think it’s because of financial issues and not because of political issues or religious issues … Probably salvaged it or something, melted it down and just sell it as bronze because the statues were from the 1950s and at that time the content of bronze would be high copper content, so a little bit of value at this time.”

There are now seven surveillance cameras on the property.

The Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie will be holding a fundraising event at the Caruso Club on Sept. 29. All money raised will go toward covering the cost of maintenance.