Bert Hermans
Oil on canvas
60 x 80 cm

Bert made this painting after a visit to Clémont (Cher, France) in September 2022. During this visit, he took a trip to Bourges with friends. On the way, he came across a dilapidated building complex at Presly, which had previously been visited in 2021, the chapel of which can be seen here through the hole in the wall. The chapel that can be seen better in other paintings from this series is still in reasonably good condition. The room next to the chapel where the priest-director probably used to live is in a very dilapidated state. Through the hole in the wall we look at a table on which lies the book entitled 'Abusés'. This book collects testimonials from victims of sexual abuse committed by priests. All these testimonies tell of the difficulty of speaking, of the limited freedom of expression, of the acceptance of their situation as a victim not only by the Catholic institution, but also by those closest to them, starting with the family.
Founded in 1920, the school was both a boys' school and an orphanage and was run by the Oblates of the Sacred Heart. Later in 2009, the building became a religious institution consisting of a private school, college and high school.
In 2017, the school was closed by order of the judiciary because of, among other things, abuse by the priest-principal and some employees of pupils and because of fraud.