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Disconnected Locals mute project that replaced church bells with ringtones

A picture of the art students who initiated the project

For some neighbours of the old town, the interruption of their everyday life by the ringtones from the church tower ten times a day proved too much, the church said. 

(© KEYSTONE / ALEXANDRA WEY)

An art project which temporarily replaced the tolling of bells with mobile phone ringtones at a church in Lucerne has been prematurely terminated over local residents’ noise complaints.

Entitled “Time Signal” the project which was launched on Monday at St. Peter’s Chapel in Lucerne had to be cut short by a week because residents complained about the sound effects.

It will conclude on July 21 instead of July 30 as originally planned.

For some neighbours of the old town, the interruption of their everyday life by the ringtones from the church tower ten times a day proved too much, the Catholic Church told the Lucerne city council on Friday. It said that the need for silence must be taken seriously, particularly since the local residents were currently also being exposed to building work linked to the restoration of the chapel.

The Catholic Church in Lucerne had decided to involve art students from the Lucerne University of Applied sciences during the ongoing renovation period of the chapel. The idea of replacing the sound of bells with mobile phone rings began as a joke but the project eventually became a reality with the city granting permission.

+ Church bells charm and annoy their listeners 

The two art students behind the project, Klarissa Flückiger and Mahtola Wittmer told the Swiss News Agency that they were not happy about the premature end of their projects. But they also did not want to upset the local residents.

For the few days that the project went on, it was perceived very well and they had received very good responses on site, the art students said.

The St. Peter’s Chapel located in the heart of Lucerne’s old town is one of the oldest churches in the city. It has been renovated and transformed many times but the original date of construction is unknown. The oldest document referring to the chapel dates from 1178.

SDA-ATS/ln

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