Tourist Accidentally Breaks Toes Off 200-Year-Old Sculpture In Italian Museum
| Last updated
The clip shows the man having his picture taken as he drapes himself alongside the plaster model by sculptor Antonio Canova.
Moments in to the 40-second video and you can see the man, who has been identified as a 50-year-old from Austria but not named, turn around to look at something that we can only assume to be the two broken toes.
The guy then gets back on to his feet at the Gypsotheca Antonio Canova museum in Possagno, Italy, before nonchalantly strolling off.
Taking to social media to vent their frustration, the museum wrote: "An Austrian tourist sat on the sculpture of Paolina Bonaparte causing two toes to break, then quickly moving away from the Museum, without denouncing the fact.
"A few minutes later our Room Guard detected the damage by giving the alarm. The emergency situation was immediately declared: after the reliefs carried out by the Carabinieri of the Pieve del Grappa Station, to which [we gave] all the information in our possession, in addition to the footage of our internal video surveillance circuit, we worked in concert with the Our Superintendence and Restaurant to put the work and fragments found safely.
"In this sense, in the coming weeks we will continue to dialogue with the institutions for the future restoration work. We reiterate that our heritage must be protected: adopting responsible behaviour within the Museum while respecting the works and goods preserved in it is not only a civic duty, but a sign of respect for what our history and culture testifies and that must be proudly handed down to future generations."
In an update earlier today, 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."