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Vandals draw KISS masks on Madonna and child statue

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Vandals scribbled what appears to be KISS makeup on beloved statues of the Virgin Mary and baby Jesus at Williamsburg’s Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, outraging parishioners who have revered the sculptures for more than 60 years.

Maintenance workers at the Havemeyer Street house of worship called police at 8 am on Wednesday when they realized someone had marked up the statues to resemble the masks worn by KISS members Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley.

“It’s a terrible thing for anyone to do,” said Our Lady of Mount Carmel parishioner Ann Caponegro. “Those statues aren’t bothering anybody It’s our religion. How we feel about them is our business. No one should deface them in any way.”

Our Lady of Mount Carmel pastor Joseph Calise urged worshipers to remain calm and suspend judgment.

“There’s been a lot of people willing to pay for the repairs,” said Calise. “We don’t know if it is an act of anger, grief, vandalism or stupidity.”

The graffiti writers also knocked over a different statue and scrawled what appears to be the word, “Mykee” on Jesus’s robe, according to cops.

Police are investigating the incident, which was first reported by Channel 7, as a possible hate crime. So far, they have no suspects.

Assemblyman Joseph Lentol (D-Williamsburg), who attends the church regularly, said the vandalism is “infuriating.”

“It is just plain destruction of sacred property that speaks of peace, love, and hope for everyone,” said Lentol. “The thugs may not realize it is a felony and I know our District Attorney would be anxious to enforce the law.”

KISS released a number of chart-topping secular songs, but the late 1970s hair metal icons also wrote several popular singles with religious undertones, including “Hotter Than Hell,” “God Gave Rock ’n Roll to You,” “God of Thunder,” and “Living in Sin.” The band is also famous for its fans, known as the KISS Army, who have donned black, white, and silver warpaint, leather armor, and fake war axes at concerts since 1975.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel church is best known for its annual Feast of the Giglio celebration, which draws tens of thousands of Catholic congregants to Havemeyer Street every July for two weeks of religious services, parades, and music — though KISS tunes don’t get much play.

A spokesperson for KISS did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Reach reporter Aaron Short at ashort@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-2547.

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Reader Feedback

scott from sunnyside says:
kiss rules
Feb. 2, 2012, 5:07 pm
Skellatosis from FG says:
Geez if you're going to draw it at least do it well.
Feb. 2, 2012, 5:37 pm
Malembi from BK says:
Shoddy
Feb. 2, 2012, 5:49 pm
Stephen from PLG says:
Mommy's alright, daddy's alright — but whoever did this is just wrong.
Feb. 2, 2012, 5:55 pm
Today says:
damn drug addicted hipsters! First bed bugs, now this?
Feb. 2, 2012, 6:29 pm
shouldn't be funny from Williamsburg says:
but it is. too bad they were in a hurry though, could have done a way better job!
Feb. 2, 2012, 7:07 pm
K. from ArKady says:
Sloppy is right. They didn't even get the correct eye for paul/jesus.
Feb. 2, 2012, 9:18 pm
kissgeneral from detroit rock city says:
hey that is funny the only problem is the star is on the wrong eye!
Feb. 2, 2012, 9:28 pm
Parasite Lady from Queens says:
looks like there isn't enough room for someone to fit their hand to draw Paul's star on the correct eye, so I forgive them for that. This is pretty badass though. I need to find these guys and be their friends.
Feb. 3, 2012, 12:05 am
nancy from coney says:
graffitti makes the city look trashy wonder why people look down on bklyn i would too. people thats disrespectful to deface people religious articles and its not funny if someone cameto where you guys worship and did that you wouldnt be so happy.theres a limit and you guys went over it people you wanna draw theres paper you can get anywhere stop making bklyn look bad.
Feb. 3, 2012, 7:25 am
jim from cobble hill says:
for the lulz
Feb. 3, 2012, 8:08 am
Tonymex from Manhattan says:
As a KISS fan for over 30 years I understand the fun in doing something like this, but as funny as it it, it´s also disrespecting for the religious guys, so let them wash their statues and cry and feel bad about it, because that´s the way the church makes more money, isn´t it? The more they devotees suffer, the more the church earns! :)
Feb. 3, 2012, 8:09 am
KISS Fan TN from Nashville says:
How could anyone think defacing property is funny?
It is disrespectful. It is disrespectful to think this is funny.
While the statue itself is not a "sacred article" the message represented IS sacred.
I have been a fan of KISS for close to 40 years, and I am ashamed that another KISS fan would condone this type of behavior. Shame on you.
I doubt anyone associated with the KISS organization found this amusing.
Also, what has happened to literacy and the ability to proof read ones posts. There is atrocious grammar and spelling in this thread.
Feb. 3, 2012, 8:40 am
Bay Ridger from Bay Ridge says:
Most of these comments are idiotic. I hope they catch these punks and make them clean up litter and dog s**t in a local park.

Once again, where are their parents?
Feb. 3, 2012, 9:15 am
manhatposeur from Portlyn Lakes Park says:
Its one thing to be cotemptous of religious people its another to desicrate their religious icons. Be it Christian, Jew, Muslim, or Budhist, or Zoratian Ancestral worshipers, just leave them be. We don't need to fuel the passions of the religious fanatics.

You know its some hipster just going about amusing himself/herself who probably did this.
Feb. 3, 2012, 10:02 am
Joey from Clinton Hills says:
at least this isn't a cover-up for insurance fraud or harrassment like the supposed anti-semitic crimes in Midwood or Borough Park
Feb. 3, 2012, 10:22 am
Lisa from bk says:
Not surprising. Williamsburg is disgusting
Feb. 3, 2012, 10:53 am
PAT from WILLIAMSBURG says:
This is my parish and I went to school at Mt. Carmel.
How dare anyone to do that.. Some dumb ass hipster
that doesn't even have roots in this community.

That's why they are flithy degenerate individuals who
are shallow and will never amount to anything in life.
Feb. 3, 2012, 3:02 pm
Nick from not around here says:
Peter Criss the original drummer is From Willamsburg ,everybody he was born in Brooklyn and lived there untill Kiss hit it big
Feb. 3, 2012, 3:43 pm
BEDT from Northside says:
Yes, and KISS also played at the Charleston on Bedford too. The former owner Bennie told me many times.

Manhatposeur is probably right on his second point, its probably some disrespectful hipster idiots amusing themselves.
Feb. 3, 2012, 8:15 pm
A girl from the pernt from Greenpoint says:
Some jewish hipster drunk from pbr and thinking its art to deface a statue. If it was a swastika on a jewish building or statue it would be all over the news!!!! The hunt for the nazi would be on..
I cant wait till the trustfund runs out and the hipsters find a new place for there frat party
Feb. 3, 2012, 11:06 pm
Annoyed from Williamsburg says:
I go to services at that church and the people that work there in maintaining the property and others that run the parish are wonderful people. Such a callous disregard for this beautiful statue and the hard work of the people that run the church really troubling. The people that are making light of this on this message board are equally troubling.
Feb. 6, 2012, 12:50 pm
lee from Williamsburg says:
this person is obviously an uneducated manchild that will never grow up. they have no regard for other peoples or public property because they had everything handed to them and never had to work for anything in their life. it's certainly not a hate crime, it's an immature plea to somehow to lazily make a mark in this world because they have achieved nothing in the wasted gift of life they were given. I'm sure they are gloating in the fact that this is getting any attention at all. it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out who this is. good job.
Feb. 8, 2012, 3:02 am
Toby from bk says:
as i read in another article, there's no copycat. it's the same pathetic loser everytime. I know it's hard to believe that one could have so much time on their hands, but its true. if they want to catch the loser, they are going to have to get up really early cause Ive seen the sloppy drunk at work after the bars let out. good to know while I'm working hard and getting on the train to go to work every morning at 5 am, while this douchebag is scribbling like a toddler with nothing better to do with his time.
Feb. 8, 2012, 3:56 am
Jeremy from Maine says:
First off, "God Gave Rock & Roll To You II" was NOT written by KISS. They covered it for a movie sound track. Secondly, Gene didn't start using an axe until 1979. Get your facts straight. Second, the person(s) responsible for this probably just got tired of drawing the makeup on people's faces in newspaper adds and magazines. I highly doubt it is a "hate crime". Is it wrong? Yes...but it appears to be just permanent marker. Just take some house hold rubbing alcohol and a paper towel to it and it will come right off and won't cause any damage to the statue. Let it go. ——ing about it won't fix it.
Feb. 8, 2012, 5 pm
Jeremy from Maine says:
Complaining about it won't fix it**
Feb. 8, 2012, 5:01 pm
Denis from Melbourne says:
Is this really news? We do this all the time here in Australia.
Feb. 8, 2012, 9:36 pm

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