Sun, Sep 10, 2017 - Page 5 News List

French pranksters replace holy water with alcohol

AFP, BESANCON, France

Tourists visiting a church in the French town of Chateau-Chalon were surprised to discover that local pranksters had replaced the fonts’ holy water with alcohol, the local tourism office said on Friday.

A dozen tourists sniffed out the telltale signs of eau de vie, a clear fruit brandy, when they visited the church in Jura, eastern France, at the end of last month.

“I made the sign of the cross and it smelt like eau de vie. Is this a local tradition?” the tourists asked officials at the nearby visitor center.

The questions prompted authorities to carry out an impromptu investigation.

“A liter of brandy had been poured into both of the fonts, you really smelled the alcohol when you walked into the church,” local tourism official Pauline Fisseau said.

The church is not regularly used for Mass and the fonts are usually empty.

The two fonts were immediately drained and cleaned before being filled with more traditional holy water ahead of a festival the following day.

The identity of the pranksters and their intentions remains unknown.

Chateau-Chalon Mayor Christian Vuillaume said it was “clearly a joke.”

“It made me laugh,” Vuillaume said.

“I think the people who did it had a sense of humor and wanted to break with tradition,” he said. “But I don’t think everyone was amused.”

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