In Pursuit of the Perfect Photo, Tourist Accidentally Breaks Sculpture’s Toes
by Nora McGreevy/Smithsonianmag.com
Last week, a tourist visiting the Museo Antonio Canova in northern Italy staged a photoshoot with unexpected consequences. Posing next to a 216-year-old plaster sculpture of a reclining woman, he sat down near the statue’s feet and leaned in, inadvertently snapping off several of its toes, according to a statement.
Italian officials say that the tourist left the museum in a hurry without notifying the guards. But in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the museum has started requiring international visitors to sign in as a safety measure. That evidence, coupled with several incriminating minutes of security footage, led police to identify the vandal as a 50-year-old Austrian man who had stopped by the museum with a tour group as part of a birthday celebration trip.
Police contacted the man’s wife, who burst into tears and admitted the mistake, reports CNN. A court in Treviso is currently deciding whether to press charges. Under newly proposed legislation, the tourist could face a maximum sentence of up to eight years in prison and a fine of €100,000 ($117,000 USD), notes Sarah Cascone for artnet News.