Ugly as sin: Vandals deface iconic Notre Dame Cathedral despite pleas from church

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Names, love vows are written all over a brick wall of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo credit: VnExpress

Vandals in Ho Chi Minh City seem to have found their new favorite target: the Notre Dame Cathedral. 
The walls of the 138-year-old icon, which were made of bricks brought from France, are turning into a public board, with many love statements scribbled all over them. 
People also wrote prayers or sentences proving that they had been there.
Priest Vuong Si Tuan told news website VnExpress that young visitors started to write on the walls more than a year ago.
He said the church attracts many people every day who come to take photos, meet with friends, , and at some point, they just decide they want to leave some notes.
“They are not aware that what they did was not right for such a famous building.”
He said the church has put up signs asking people to respect the religious site, but vandals just don't stay away.

The church has fenced off a hidden corner or it would be turned into a garbage dump or public toilet. Photo credit: VnExpress
He said some people even left trash and urinated in hidden corners around the walls, forcing the church to fence off some of corners recently.
The church of more than 3,200 square meters was built between 1877-1880 by the French and is part of the city’s colonial core, together with the Post Office and the former Cercle des Officiers on Le Duan.
It is not only the main Catholic church in the city, but also a must-visit for tourists.
Tuan said the church has reported to local officials about the vandalism and they promised they would deal with it.
“We cannot arrange people to guard the building day and night. The city needs to protect all the old buildings in the city, because they are its soul,” he said.

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