Denmark jails man for defacing gravestones with ‘number of the beast’

A high court in Denmark has decided to keep a man in police custody for defacing gravestones with the number 666.

Denmark jails man for defacing gravestones with 'number of the beast'
Photo: Henning Bagger / Ritzau Scanpix

The 46-year-old man who committed the act of vandalism at the churchyard in Hadsund will now be remanded in custody, the North Jutland Police prosecution service confirmed.

Thursday’s decision by the Vestre Landsret court takes the opposite position to an earlier district court ruling which decided against extending the man’s detainment.

He was arrested on Wednesday and subsequently appeared at preliminary court proceedings after painting the number 666 on 80 gravestones at the church. The vandalism was discovered by church staff on Sunday.

He has a previous charge for a similar incident at Visborg in 2016, although that case is yet to be concluded.

“It’s no secret we had our suspicions about him [due to the previous case, ed.]. And based on witness statements in the area, we think there is cause for preliminary charge,” lead investigator Sune Myrup told Ritzau on Wednesday.

The 46-year-old faces charges of gross vandalism under Denmark’s criminal law.

The number 666 is described in chapter 13 of the Book of Revelation in the Bible as the “number of the Beast” and is considered a symbol of the devil.

Although the city court in Aalborg decided to free the man on Wednesday, that decision has now been overturned by the higher court following an appeal by the prosecution service.

READ ALSO: Denmark's Little Mermaid turns blue and white after latest vandalism

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Vandals damage iconic Norwegian sculpture

Norway's famous Sinnataggen or Angry Boy sculpture has been removed for repairs after vandals attempted to saw off its left foot.

Vandals damage iconic Norwegian sculpture
Photo by Janko Ferlič on Unsplash

The bronze sculpture, a national treasure and arguably the most famous work by Norwegian sculptor Gustav Vigeland, was damaged during the early hours of Tuesday.

It will be returned to Oslo’s Vigeland Sculpture Park once repairs have taken place.

Oslo Municipality, which owns the park and the sculptures, has said it is currently investigating the incident. It is not the first time someone has vandalised the work and in 2005 surveillance cameras were set up around Sinnataggen.

“This is damage to a protected cultural monument and the matter will be reported to the police,” Oslo Municipality said in a statement.

The city said it wants people to be able to enjoy the art up close and hopes they do not have to set up barriers.


“We hope to resolve the matter quickly and that the sculpture returns… as soon as possible,” the municipality statement said.

Sinnataggen has been displayed in the park since 1940, where it has been subjected to vandalism on a number of occasions.

On New Year’s Eve 1991, it was stolen before being recovered and in 2012 somebody painted the depiction of a stamping baby completely red.

There are 58 bronze sculptures, modelled by Vigeland between 1925 and 1933, on display in the Frogner park.

In 2017, an original miniature of the worlds most beloved angry toddler sold for 1.6 million Kroner. The miniature version was cast in 1911 and is one of ten different versions of the angry boy. Unlike the larger, more renowned version, the miniature has hair on its head.