An American tourist has vandalized two sculptures in the Vatican
(CNN) – Just when you think the summer of vacationer misbehavior is over, another vacationer comes along and destroys priceless works, this time at the Vatican.
Now it’s the turn of an American tourist to vandalize two ancient Roman sculptures at the Vatican on Wednesday.
The episode took place at lunchtime at the Chiaramondi Museum, part of the Vatican Museums. The site contains around 1,000 ancient statues and describes itself as “one of the finest collections of Roman iconography” in the world.
But the two portraits now have an uncertain future, after the tourist smashed one of them in anger and the other as he fled the site.
According to Il Messaggero newspaper, the man demanded to see Pope Francis. When told he couldn’t, he threw a Roman bust to the ground.
As he fled the museum, with staff in pursuit, he threw another work to the floor.
Both pieces of art were taken to the museum’s own workshop to assess their condition. Although they are around 2,000 years old, they are believed to be secondary works of art rather than famous works, a source told Il Messaggero.
The director of the press office of the Vatican Museums, Matteo Alessandrini, told CNN that the American, in his 50s, was in the corridor of the “Galleria Chiaramonte”, which houses about 100 statues and statues.
“The busts were fixed to the shelves with a nail, but if you pulled them hard they would come off,” the officer explained. The tourist “threw one to the ground, then the other, and the guards immediately arrived and arrested him. They handed him over to the Vatican police, who took him in for questioning. At 5:30 p.m. he was taken into custody by the Italian authorities,” he added.
“Two busts were damaged, but not particularly seriously. One lost part of its nose and ear, and the head of the other fell off the plinth,” he added.
Alessandrini said restoration work has already begun and “they will soon be recovered and put back in the museum.”
Headed by Mountain Butorak Pilgrimages to the Vatican Chiaramondi, a frequent visitor to the museum, said: “It’s a beautiful thing that (the museum) allows visitors to come face to face with these ancient sculptures. My fear is that with this kind of behavior, barriers can be put in place.” .
Tourists have continued to vandalize monuments in Rome this summer. In July, a Canadian tourist was caught carving his name into the Colosseum Visitors from America descended on scooters down the steps of the Plaza de España, breaking pieces of that space at the time. and a Saudi visitor He drove his Maserati to the same architectural space.
Delia Gallagher contributed to this report