China restorationist tackles shattered church statues

China restorationist tackles shattered church statues

DRAPER, Utah (ABC4 Utah) It has been more than a month since Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Magna was nearly destroyed by an act of vandalism. One Draper woman is helping put back the pieces of several sacred statues.
DRAPER, Utah (ABC4 Utah) It has been more than a month since Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Magna was nearly destroyed by an act of vandalism. One Draper woman is helping put back the pieces of several sacred statues.

 The church is as beautiful as ever. Sitting in the pew, it is hard to tell the church was in pieces a few short weeks ago.

“We're strong and we got through it,” said Jerry Vandersteen. “We're stronger.”

But a few key pieces are still missing. They were smashed into thousands of pieces, now sitting in a small studio in Draper, waiting to be put back together.

“I love what I do,” said Catherine Holt. “I love giving pieces back in one piece.”

Holt has been putting the impossible back together for 30 years now. When she saw the statues in pieces on an ABC4 Utah story, she knew she was the one to put them back together.

“When I saw the pictures,” said Holt. “That they were just in the foyer, in the church. I immediately tried to get a hold of the church and said ‘I want those pieces - don't let anyone else take them.’”

Not only that, Holt is taking on the massive project for free. Normally, repairing even just one statue can cost upwards of $1,000. She’s working on a half a dozen.

“When you see them in this shape, it's just sad,” said Holt.

Somehow, she knew this project was coming for years.

“I just have had a feeling for years,” said Holt. “I was going to do a major project for a church.”

A major project she hopes to have done by Christmas.

“The church needs them back as quickly as possible, part of the healing process,” said Holt.

Unified Police said Monday they are still actively working to find whoever is responsible. They say they have received several tips they are following, but nothing solid just yet.

Holt will continue to repair Utahn's treasures while working on the statues. You can learn more at www.SaltLakeChinaRepair.com or call her at 801-550-3305.


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