Gerechtigkeitsbrunnen (”Fountain of Justice”) / rope and tackle

On the night of October 13 1986, this 16th-century open-air statue was destroyed by unidentified vandals in Bern, Switzerland. Titled after its namesake figure, Hans Gieng’s famous statue of Lady Justice, the fountain stood intact for 443 years before being torn down by way of rope and tackle. While none officially claimed responsibility, the act was generally attributed to the Groupe Belier, a militant youth organization advocating Jurassic separatism.

Only one person was implicated in the destruction of the statue: Pascal Hêche, a 29-year-old mechanic and Bélier. While Hêche retracted his initial confession and pleaded not guilty to having participated in the attack, Bernese courts ultimately sentenced him to 22 months in jail and fined him CHF 200,000 in damages.

Since the attack, the damaged statue has been in the process of restoration at Bern’s historical museum. The statue set in its place since 1988 is a copy.

Christopher Schreck