The four angels above the Holy Water Stoup in Sauniere's Mary Magdalene church are situated above, depending on your preference, a Devil or a Demon and it is he who actually supports the basin holding the Holy Water. Saunière's Rennes-le-Chateau Church Original Demon
Sauniere's Holy Water Stoup
Another View of Sauniere's Holy Water Stoup
In 1986, Alain Féral who was at the time at the bookshop in Rennes-le-Château, found that the right-hand angel's head was hollow and stuffed with pages, or cuttings, (the story differs) from German newspapers that dated from 1898, the year of the refurbishment of the church. It was not easy getting photographs of the back of the angels heads but with the help of Pat we were successful. As you can see from the photographs it seems that all of the angels have a hole in their heads and how anyone would be able to get at the newspapers inside through this tiny hole is another mystery, unless they were protruding slightly.
The Lower Center Angel from above
The Lower Center and Right Angel Holes. Arrow indicates the hole where the German Newspapers were discovered
German Newspaper Fragments
Although some have tried to attached a mystery to these newspapers it is probably nothing of the sort, just some papers either stuffed inside at the factory in Toulouse where it was made, perhaps to help with the drying process or to check if the interior of the statue had dried out. Alternatively they could have been placed inside by one of the artisans Sauniere employed to decorate his church for some reason. This is just another one of the many facets of the Rennes-le-Chateau Mystery that we will probably never know who put them there or why? I do not hold any importance the the German newspapers but perhaps we would be better informed if we knew what information was reported on the newspapers or cuttings found inside.
When a question was raised about the newspapers on the Arcadia forum, Mariano Tomatis posted some images of these actual clippings and surprisingly, there were only a few fragments found and seem to be mostly about rooms to rent in Germany. As suggested on the forum it is most likely that these fragments were nothing more than the remains of some newspapers used for packaging the statues during transit. The fragments were probably found on the ledges behind the angels wings and not inside the angel's head as presumably the complete statue is hollow and so would have been impossible to reach, unless they were wedged into the hole in the angel's head.
Source of the Newspaper Fragments shown here are from Mariano Tomatis (ed.), Indagini su Rennes-le-Château 12 (Italy 2007), p.589. and are reproduced here with Mariano's permission. Mariano has an excellent website with links to many interesting documents associated with the Rennes le Chateau affair and many have been translated into different languages with scans of the originals.
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Ben Hammott's Illustrated Guide to Rennes-le-Chateau No1
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