Photo Credit: ROME, ITALY - OCTOBER 31: (EDITORS NOTE: Exposure latitude of this image has been digitally increased.) The Temple of Hadrian is seen at Piazza di Pietra square on October 31, 2017 in Rome, Italy. Rome is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the World. (Photo by Laszlo Szirtesi/Getty Images)
Americans Smash Two Sculptures In The Vatican
With summer being over you’d think the next wave of tourists would be a little less weird in touristy destinations. Unfortunately, one of our own has struck again. One American tourist smashed two ancient Roman sculptures inside the Vatican on Wednesday.
1. What happened:
Inside the Museo Chiaramonti, one of the many museums within the Vatican which holds close to 1,000 works of ancient history. The man in question started to take down the artifacts with his hands during lunchtime. The tourist knocked down two portraits, one while he was angry and the other just toppled as he tried to run away from the scene. The assailant was demanding to see the pope. When staffers and the authorities told him he could not see the Pope, he hurled a Roman bust to the ground. Then while being chased, he knocked down another.
The two pieces are currently being assessed by the museum’s workshop. According to experts the pieces were about 2,000 years old. According to Matteo Alessandrini, the American was 50 years old, inside the “Galleria Chiaramonte” which holds close to 100 busts and statues as told to CNN.
2. Witness accounts:
“The busts were affixed to shelves with a nail but if you pull them down with force they will come off,” he said. “He pulled down one and then the other and the guards came immediately and stopped him and consigned him to the Vatican police who brought him in for questioning.” Then at 5:30, he was handed to Italy’s authorities.
“The 2 busts have been damaged but not particularly badly. One lost part of a nose and an ear, the head of the other came off the pedestal.”
He also mentioned that restoration was already in progress and the art will be put back into the museum.
3. Fear for the future:
Mountain Butorac, who is a guide for trips to the Vatican and who often visits the Museo Chiaramonti, said: “One of the beautiful things is that it allows the visitors to get literally face to face with these ancient sculptures. My fear is that with behavior like this, barriers could be put in place.”