Vandalism at Carmel Mission Basilica being investigated as hate crime

FILE - A statue covered in paint at the Carmel Mission Basilica in Carmel, Calif. is seen in this undated image. (KGO-TV)

The vandalism that occurred at the Carmel Mission Basilica over the weekend is now being investigated as a hate crime.

Just days after the canonization of Junipero Serra by Pope Francis, the Carmel Mission Basilica was struck by vandals who knocked down Serra's statue and covered it with paint.

Several other historic statues, gravesites, doorways and a fountain was also vandalized. The suspects wrote "Saint of genocide" on a rock referring to Serra who was buried there.

Police believe the vandalism occurred between Saturday evening and Sunday morning.

A volunteer discovered the damage on Sunday morning and contacted the Carmel-by-the-Sea Police Department.

The canonization of Serra was controversial with some Native Americans criticizing his treatment towards their ancestors.

VIDEO: Support for canonization of Junipero Serra divided among Native Americans


Carmel Mission officials have asked for volunteers to help with cleanup on Monday.

Officials said the estimated damage is $50,000.

Police are asking anyone with information about the suspects to call the police department at (831) 624-6403.

Click here for full coverage on Pope Francis' historic visit to the U.S.


Tap for coverage on iOS.

Bay City News contributed to this story.

Related Topics:
religionpopepope francissaintsu.s. & worldnative americanpope us visitsocietyhistoryvandalismhate crimehate crime investigationWashington DCCalifornia
(Copyright ©2017 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.)

Load Comments

POPE US VISIT
More pope us visit

RELIGION & SPIRITUALITY
More Religion & Spirituality

Top Stories
Show More