The steep drop in Dutch religious practice over the past half century has forced many Catholic churches to close, leaving a growing surplus of their religious artwork piling up in the cellars. With two Dutch churches closing on average every week, surplus statues, crucifixes, chalices and paintings are piling up in the cellars and storerooms of Roman Catholic parishes around the country. But outside Europe, there is a different situation. Poor parishes in Latin America, Africa and Asia are trying to get their hands on traditional Catholic artwork to equip their churches (….). The total of Dutch Catholic churches stood at 1,782 in 2003, (…) and is estimated to sink to 1,200 by 2018. From 1970 to 2008, 205 Catholic churches were demolished and 148 more were converted into bookshops, health centres, restaurants, apartments, among other things.
Original source: Reuters