“Fines have been given to Italian parishes if bells are too noisy, but they have never been confiscated before,” said the parish priest, Klemen Zalar. “This reaction was a bit too heavy.”

All eight Slovenian MEPs have weighed in to a ding-dong in a small town in northern Italy, calling on the European Commission to act to “protect traditions” after an Italian judge silenced a church’s bells, the Guardian reports.

For some in Dolina, a town with a minority Slovene community close to Italy’s border with Slovenia, the bells of Sant’Ulderico church were essential to the rhythm of their day, with the tolls not only informing them of the start of mass, a feast day or when someone died, but also serving as a clock.

For others, the “loud and excessive” ringing was a bane, leading to a petition that in turn led a judge in nearby Trieste to remove the bells in an unprecedented ruling.

“Fines have been given to Italian parishes if bells are too noisy, but they have never been confiscated before,” said the parish priest, Klemen Zalar. “This reaction was a bit too heavy.”

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