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NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (AP) – The restoration of a 130-year-old Massachusetts church organ was dealt a setback when a homeless man took a nap on four of its pipes.

Officials at First Churches in Northampton said the man’s weight severely damaged the delicate, 18-foot pipes, that were among about 50 stored in the basement during a $2 million restoration of the historic sanctuary.

The man, who had been there for a job counseling meeting, apparently mistook them for rolled up rugs.

The Rev. Peter Ives said the untimely snooze Tuesday occurred one day before contractors were to begin putting the pipes back in operation. Ives estimates the damage at close to $15,000, but says the organ can still be played without the pipes.

He says the church will not press charges.

The congregation traces its history to the 17th century, and was home to the famous 18th century preacher Jonathan Edwards.

AP-ES-11-12-08 1947EST


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