Suspected arson in medieval church fire

Våler Church. Photo:

The police is investigating a fire which destroyed the 204-year old Våler Church (Hedmark) in the early hours of Friday morning.

The fire was discovered on the outside of the building, and the police have concluded that it was started intentionally. 

The local police have now asked for assistance from the National Bureau of Crime Investigation (KRIPOS), and for information from the public, to help solve the crime.

The firemen managed to bring out an altarpiece from 1697 and the Communion silver, but many irreplaceable pieces of church art were destroyed in the raging fire.

The beautiful 13th century Medieval church was dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and the Samuelsen organ in the Church was unique and extremely rare. There were only two such organs left in Norway, that have been preserved in full. The second one is located at the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History at Bygdøy. The organ is a so-called cabinet organ, where the pipes are located inside an organ case with doors in front, as with a cabinet. It is presumed built in 1781.

Source: Norway Post / VisitNorway

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