V18939 WRECKED ALTAR OF MALINES CATHEDRAL Malines, one of the most charming towns of Belgium, undefended, was bombarded several times, apparently in a spirit of pure malice. On one of those occasions a hundred shrapnel shells exploded in the town. The church of Notre Dame was damaged, great holes were knocked in the walls and roof of the Cathedral of St. Rombaut, houses were battered down and the town hall was smashed. In the intervals between the bombardments, the terrified inhabitants carried away to safety many valuable works of art that had hung in their places of worship. But there were many they had no opportunity to carry away when they, themselves, were forced to flee from bursting shells. The beautiful altar of the Cathedral, with its richly embroidered cloth, the fine meta candlesticks, the masterpieces of great artists which adorned the walls, the lovely stone pillars, were ruined. Bursting shells tore the pictures to shreds, knocked pieces out of the stone pillars, piled a litter of stone and dirt at the foot of the altar. The rains of heaven poured through the broken roof and completed the destruction man had begun. But a fraction of the destruction wrought in the Cathedral is visible to our eyes. We see but one spot, yet that is typical of many others. We cannot see the shattered walls, the gaping holes in the roof, the splintered arches; yet they are all there, evidences of the destructive policy of the invader. Malines was a town of great antiquity. It was formerly called Mechlin and it was there that the famous Mechlin lace was made.