A 65-year-old tourist toppled two ancient sculptures at Vatican Museums on Wednesday. He reportedly told museum staff he wanted to see the Pope before throwing the Roman busts to the ground.
An American tourist was stopped by the Vatican police in the Chiaramonti Museum—a long corridor lined with statues and busts—shortly after he threw the busts to the ground, according to the Adnkronos news agency. He has now been handed over to the Italian authorities.
The artefacts sustained moderate damage. They are now in the museum’s in-house restoration lab for repair. It has raised concerns about the institution’s security as visitor numbers begin to return to pre-Covid levels.
Pictures on social media show the ancient sculptures at the Vatican Museums lying on the floor. Museum representatives confirmed the busts are “minor works” to Il Messaggero. It is unlikely that they will return to the condition they were in before the incident.