Council of Majorca will pay for restoration of the Crucifix of la Sang

José María S A, the man accused of destroying the centuries old Crucifix known as La Sang on Wednesday, was remanded in custody yesterday afternoon, although he showed signs of mental instability. The forensic examiner said that he was fit to be sent to jail, if the judge considered it necessary, although the accused had expressed a wish to be admitted to the psychiatric hospital. The court appearance was brief and the accused gave no reason for his attack on the image, saying that he knew he was sick and wanted to be admitted to a hospital “where I will be treated much better than in the street.” The man, aged 29, had already spent one night in the cells. It is reported that yesterday morning in the jail, he was heard shouting that God had ordered him to destroy the statue. Sources say that the man had been a patient in the psychiatric hospital until December 16. He is from Jerez de la Frontera and has no family here, nor does he have a home. It is also reported that he is a drug addict. The judges asked the social services to draw up a report on the suspect, and they reported that he had not been taking his medicine since leaving the psychiatric hospital. The Council of Majorca has said that it will cover the cost of restoring the image, which dates from the 16th and 17th centuries and is carried in the Maundy Thursday procession every Easter. It will be restored by Antonia Reig, who heads the Bishop's Office's restoration department and her team, and yesterday she said it would be “a challenge but not an impossible task.” She said that the statue crashed to the floor and the suspect then trod on it. Only half the body, one leg, an arm with some fingers and the head were left intact. The restoration team spent yesterday collecting the pieces and classifying them. Restoration will be “complicated and a lengthy process,” Reig said, adding that she doubted it would be ready by Easter. The Crucifix was kept in the church of La Asunción by the General Hospital and yesterday there was a steady stream of visitors, many of them carrying offerings of candles or flowers. Many elderly people burst into tears when they saw the remains of the statue, one of the most venerated images on the island.

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