A fire has ruined the famous church of San Sebastian in the Peruvian colonial city of Cuzco. Residents watched in despair as the blaze burned the gilded altar and valuable paintings inside the 16th-century church.
The fire began in the early hours of Friday. The authorities say it was probably caused by a short circuit. Firefighters said hydrants in the area were not working and were only repaired two hours later.
Why the church matters to Peru The local priest urged residents to try to save the church. They rushed to a nearby river to collect water, but it was too late. The building is still standing but most of the church’s ornate interior has been destroyed, including work by indigenous artist Diego Quispe Tito.
Peruvian fashion photographer Mario Testino, who is also president of the World Monuments Fund Peru, told the BBC it was a “tragic loss” for the country. He said the cultural ministry had pledged to restore the church.(BBC,2016)