Vandals damage Mission San Juan a 3rd time

| September 22, 2011

For the third time in recent years, Mission San Juan has been defaced by vandals, who this time likely caused permanent damage to an 18th-century stone wall.

National park rangers discovered seven graffiti carvings Friday in the wall just inside the main gate near the convent building.

Moved to its present location in 1731, San Juan is one of four cherished San Antonio missions visited by about 1.7 million people each year from around the world.

What has alarmed authorities is the boldness of the most recent vandalism. It's far more serious than the typical spray-painted graffiti, which causes minimal damage to stone surfaces and is less expensive to remove.

The carving of names and letters, as deep as a quarter-inch, could require original stones to be removed, repaired and possibly replaced, forever altering history.

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Category: Church Security

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