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This is the moment Italian residents flock to a Virgin Mary statue that appears to be weeping blood:
The phenomenon was first spotted by a boy riding his bike on Paolino Arnesano Square in the town of Carmiano, which only has around 12,100 inhabitants, in the southern Italian province of Lecce on 3 August.
Journalist Andrea Tafuro said the statue, which was erected on 3 September 1943, was later visited by hordes of people who wanted to pray on the public square and witness the unusual scene.
The video footage shows dozens of people standing at the base of the Virgin Mary statue as a 'bloody tear' appears to fall from its right eye.
Riccardo Calabrese, priest of the Sant'Antonio Abate Church, said on Facebook that it is unclear if the incident was 'a miracle, the result of the hot weather at the moment, or worst of all, someone's idea of a joke'.
Calabrese said: "All the time I was next to the statue, I saw a procession of people who, out of curiosity or faith, left their homes to gather there.
"I saw children, teenagers, adults, and elderly people meeting at our beloved Virgin Mary statue, and they all looked up at her face."
Local newspaper Repubblica said that the Bishop of Lecce, Michele Ceccia, announced that the church will investigate the incident.
This might be a clean-up operation to remove the red stain but at least the Virgin Mary hasn't lost any toes - like this sculpture did when a tourist draped himself over it for a picture.
The man, who has been identified as a 50-year-old from Austria but not named, can be seen turning around to look at something that we can only assume to be the two broken toes that were snapped off.
The guy then gets back on to his feet at the Gypsotheca Antonio Canova museum in Possagno, Italy, before nonchalantly strolling off.
The museum explained how the tourist had 'turned himself in' and also penned a letter to the President of the Canova Foundation, Vittorio Sgarbi.
In a translated report, the man wrote: "I would like to self-sue myself, after today I read about the incident in the Austrian newspapers and it was immediately clear to me that I had to get in touch.
"I remain at complete disposal, it was irresponsible behavior on my part, the consequences were not known to me, so I normally continued the visit to the museum and the entire stay in Italy."
The tourist, who is said to live in Aistersheim, Grieskirchen, Austria, continued: "During the visit I sat on the statue, without realising the damage I evidently caused. I ask you for information on the steps that are necessary on my part in this very unpleasant situation for me and for which, firstly, I apologise in every way."
While the Museum Staff is already working to identify the various phases that will lead to the restoration of the work, Vittorio Sgarbi said: "I appreciate the civic sense of these citizens and I take note of his words of embarrassment for what happened."
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