Another Quake Damages Assisi Basilicas

A recent earthquake that rocked the hill town of Assisi opened fresh cracks in the belltower and vaulted ceiling of the pink-and-white marbled St. Clare’s Basilica, a report said Friday.

After inspecting the 13th-century church, with its flying buttress-style external arches, architect Leonardo Biasetti said there was no danger of collapse, the Italian ews agency AGI reported.

However, it said fresh cracks from Thursday’s magnitude-5.4 quake were causing concern. Architects were worried about the rose-style window on the facade as well as the belltower and ceiling.

In September, two quakes in the region killed 10 people and heavily damaged many buildings, including St. Clare’s and Assisi’s main attraction, St. Francis Basilica.

Monks at St. Francis Basilica said the church appeared undamaged by Thursday’s quake, which caused no major damage in the central Umbria and Marche regions.

In September, part of St. Francis Basilica’s vaulted ceiling collapsed and precious frescoes were ruined.

The lower basilica of the two-level St. Francis church has been open to tourists for months while restoration work goes on in the upper level.

St. Clare’s, closed since the September quakes, had hoped to reopen in time for Easter, on April 12, but that decision likely will be made only after further inspection.

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