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Drunken revellers were behind Lucerne cemetery desecration

The damage runs into tens of thousands of francs

(Keystone Archive)

The desecration of a cemetery in Lucerne last Saturday was the work of drunken revellers, and not Satan worshippers, according to cantonal police. Ninety graves were damaged in the worst act of violence of this kind in recent years.

Lucerne police confirmed on Friday that five men and a woman - aged between 20 and 24 - had admitted to desecrating the cemetery. Five were apprehended last Sunday, after police discovered a wallet belonging to the woman at the cemetery, while another gave himself up on Thursday.

Police said the six suspects - three Germans and three Swiss - took part in the vandalism, while the another person was asleep in a car.

The six had spent the earlier part of the evening at a death-metal concert before heading to the cemetery in Lucerne. The damage was done between one and four o'clock on Saturday morning.

The group blamed their actions on alcohol and a lack of discernment. Police believe there is no proof of any satanic motives behind the desecration despite the presence of devil-worship symbols.

A cross was turned upside down and the number 666 drawn on it. Ashes were also emptied from funeral urns by two of the Germans and used to lay out pentagrams on tombs.

Police said the culprits' actions had been influenced by a desire to show solidarity with the death-metal movement.

The police released the group from custody on Wednesday and Thursday after charging them with vandalism and "disturbing the peace of the dead". The damage to the cemetery was estimated at tens of thousands of francs.

swissinfo with agencies


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