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Moment tourist snaps toes off 200-year-old Italian statue while posing for photo



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This is the moment a tourist snapped the toes off a 200-year-old statue while posing for a photograph in a northern Italian museum.

Surveillance footage shows a tourist lay beside an 1804 sculpture by Antonio Canova at the Gypsotheca Museum in Possagno, Italy on July 31.

When he “sprawled over the statue” he broke the toes off the art work, police told CNN. The 50-year-old man fled the museum after damaging the statue.

Investigators said there could be further damage to the base of the sculpture that the “museum experts still have to ascertain”.

A picture released by Italian police shows the damage to the sculpture (via REUTERS)

“Luckily, we found the broken parts of the gypsum,” Museum Director Moira Mascotto told Der Standard, an Austrian newspaper. “That helps us with the restoration.”

Italian police managed to track down the Austrian tourist responsible for damaging the 19th century statue by contacting the man’s wife who made a group booking for eight visitors to the museum.

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According to a press release from Treviso Carabinieri, the man’s wife burst into tears when contacted by the police and confessed that her husband broke the toes.

The man also apologised for the “stupid move” and wrote a letter to the President of the Canova Foundation Vittorio Sgarbi in which he acknowledged his “irresponsible behaviour”.

A court in Treviso is has yet to decide whether the 50-year-old will face charges for damaging the statue.

The Neoclassical sculpture ‘Pauline Bonaparte as Venus Victrix’ is the original plaster cast model from which Canova carved a marble statue that is housed in the Borghese Gallery in Rome.

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