THE Guardia Civil Nature Protection Service (Seprona) is investigating the demolition of a Visigoth church in Jerez de los Caballeros, Badajoz.
According to archaeologist Victor Gibello, only the west access door and the belfry that stood over that area of the Santa Maria de Brovales church remain standing.
The rest, he reports, has been totally demolished with a mechanical digger.
The church was on private property, but, Gibello has said, that does not mean that the owner can do whatever he wants with it, as it is a collective asset which should be “respected and conserved” he said.
Experts from the Junta de Extremadura Property Protection Unit went to the property to assess the damage to local heritage.
Gibello explained that nothing so shocking has been seen in a long time, adding that the church stands on a “very important” site from the Roman period and although “to date no archaeological work had been carried out to determine the chronology”, it is believed that “the oldest part is from the Visigoth period”.
It was used as a church until the 19th century and since being abandoned, has served as a country house.
The actions of the property owner are against Extremadura’s Heritage Law.
Locals have said that the actions are “disgraceful” and “unforgivable”, as a historical asset has been lost forever.
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