Incredibly sad news: an Atlas reader let us know that the famous catacombs in Paris were recently vandalized:

“A few weeks ago, the catacombs have been vandalized by unknown people and for unknown reason. They have destroyed the piles of bones every 20 metres, for 300 metres. This is really shocking and revolting, as it is an attack against both an artistic and historical monument, and a graveyard. Because of those incredibly stupid persons, the catacombs are currently closed, and there is no re-opening date announced at the moment.”

Apparently the attack occurred in September, and they will be closed for visitors. According to news reports, the vandals did not enter through the tourist routes, but rather through some of the other secret entrances. This is particularly sad, as it means that these will probably be even more tightly controlled, sealed, or destroyed as has happened in the past when they have been publicized.

When I was in Paris, the catacombs were closed for less dramatic restoration reasons, so I have never seen them, but they have always been on my short list. This sort of destruction of historical sites - let alone a burial place like this - always leaves me shaken and a bit angry. I can only hope that the damage is not so extensive that it will remain closed long.

Here is the article in Le Parisien>> (in French)

More here at Gadling>>

And here’s the blurb from the AP>>

There does not seem to be a lot of new news about this out there. If anyone knows more or is in Paris now, we would love to hear from you.