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Pipe Organ Security

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  • Pipe Organ Security

    Many of us have stories of damage done to organs by careless electricians displacing pipes as they wander through the organ, or custodians who think all that space in the blower room is an excellent place to store Christmas decorations. But what happened to the organ in the Lutheran Church in Alkmaar, the Netherlands, is heart breaking.
    Built by Pieter Muller in 1754 and restored by Flentrop in 1976, this very pretty instrument fell victim to burglars who had broken into the attached house and decided to enter the church and hide in the organ when the police arrived. In doing so, they caused an estimated 35,000 euros in damage, including breaking much of the original pipe work. This is a heavy blow for a small congregation, but with the support of the larger community, this organ will be restored.

    It might be a reminder to ask ourselves, how secure is my church's instrument to this kind of wanton vandalism.

  • #2
    It reminds me of this organ currently available on eBay:

    Someone had fun trashing that organ too.

    Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
    • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
    • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
    • 11 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 7 Pianos


    • #3
      That's very sad. At the end of the video, one can see that the door the fellow puts back has a little latch key but I'm guessing the key was left in the lock. It's sad, though, when one realizes that organs need to be secured with thick doors and deadbolts. :-(

      Don't shoot me, but the burglars were (apparently) only trying to save their skin and not being spiteful. Of course the damage is done and the reason behind it doesn't help the organ nor the congregation. What really burns me are vandals who only get a joy out of destruction - snapping off stop knobs, breaking keys etc.
      My instrument: Allen MDS-65 with a New Century Zimbelstern
      Former instruments (RIP): Allen ADC 420; Conn Minuet 542


      • #4
        Sometimes it's the church's own organist who is to blame.

        I know a church with multiple organists. The organ is tubular pneumatic and works fine. There are, however, occasional ciphers in a pedal 16' flute when there are certain weather changes. The church's oldest organist (in his 80s or 90s) feels himself capable enough to go in to place a book in the mouth of the pipe to stop the ciphering pipe from sounding. What he doesn't realize is that he's walking on the lead piping that runs across the floor, often compressing it to the point that it won't work.

        The church won't do anything about him, nor will they pay for any kind of covers to prevent more damage. All they do is, every few years, pay extra to have the damaged leading repaired.

        Fools. [sigh.....]