An American tourist was detained tourist at a Vatican museum for vandalizing two ancient Roman sculptures by hurling them to the floor.
The man toppled the artwork at the Chiaramonti Museum, which is part of the Vatican Museums and home to one of the most important collections of Roman portrait busts.
Vatican Museums spokesman Matteo Alessandrini said the 65-year-old man grew angry because he was not allowed “to see the Pope.”
Photos shared on social media, and confirmed by the museum representative showed the damaged busts strewn on the marble floor. One had lost part of its nose and an ear, the museum said.
The man was charged with aggravated property damage and handed over to Italian police, according to a police spokesman. The two busts, one depicting an elderly man and the other a young man, are being restored, a process that could take 300 hours. “The scare was bigger than the actual damage,”
A police spokesman said the 65-year-old had been in Rome for about three days and appeared to be “psychologically distressed.” He was given an aggravated property damage charge and released.