Arlon: Start of the rescue operations for the cross of the Saint-Martin church

After the storms of the past few days, the cross of the Saint-Martin d’Arlon church is leaning dangerously. Two cranes were sent to the site to try to lower this cross, whose mass is between 200 and 400 kg. The rescue work was again interrupted by strong gusts of wind.

Two cranes of 300 and 350 tons

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At 10:00 am on Tuesday morning, the impressive Arnould crane was lifting a gondola with two workers from Golinvaux on board, all 92 meters above the ground. Armed with their camera, Pierre and Maxime immortalize the moment.

“I came to photograph the repairs and dismantling of the Saint-Martin cross”explains Pierre Léonard, a local resident. “I’ve made my little journey from Etalle to here, it’s impressive! You shouldn’t be dizzy, it’s a great job the workers are doing here.”adds Maxime Couset, an on-site spectator.

Due to the recent storms of the past few days, the cross in St. Martin’s Church has bent. Only on Tuesday morning could the first operations take place with the help of extraordinary equipment.

“A 300-ton crane is planned for our team with the basket. Next to it is a second 350 tonne crane that will be responsible for lowering the cross.”says Marivan Lamette, site manager of the Golinvaux companies.

A 170 kg stone was removed

Despite the gusts of wind, workers managed to learn more details about the current condition of the cross. There is a lot of damage, but all danger seems to have passed.

“There is indeed a split stone, the workers are removing it (…) The aim is to secure the dowel so it doesn’t fall into the church. After that we will remove the cross and the two stones below in one piece. The whole thing must weigh almost a ton”, adds Arlon Mayor Vincent Magnus.

This famous stone weighing almost 170 kg symbolizes the beginning of a long creative period. The Saint-Martin church, a victim of time, is currently benefiting from a renovation of the west side. The bell tower, which was also badly damaged, will be renovated in the coming years. Arlon Municipality needs to analyze the situation to determine whether or not further development of the site is possible.

“It’s definitely a reflection we need to have because we need to consolidate things so things don’t go negative. The municipality of Arlon does not decide alone because the work of Saint-Martin is funded by the authorities to subsidize. We’ll have to have a discussion with them.”concludes Vincent Magnus.

Operations were suspended around 12:00 p.m. because the wind was blowing at more than 11 meters per second. According to the client, the cross was supposed to fall from the bell tower at around 8:00 this Wednesday morning.

The cross was finally removed this Wednesday, February 23rd

Nicolas Guidi

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