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Destruction When Request Is Denied

October 7, 2022
wall of ancient sculptures

Ancient Sculptures

On October 5th, an American tourist requested a visit with the Pope while visiting the Vatican’s Chiaramonti Museum. Of course, it was denied, which sent him off the edge. His response was to knock over two of the approximately 1000 ancient marble sculptures in the collection, causing them to crash to the floor and sustaining damage. The culprit tried to flee but was quickly apprehended by the Vatican gendarmerie, who, in turn, handed him over to Italian authorities.

According to museum officials, the two damaged sculptures (one of an old and the other of a young man) were not considered important works but need restoration. The estimated cost is about €15,000 (or $15K – the currencies are almost at parity) and will take about two months.

Reports noted that the perpetrator is a 65-year-old man born in Egypt but now an American citizen. He had been in Rome for about three days and appeared to have mental issues. The man has been charged with aggravated property damaged and released. I wonder how quickly he will be on a plane heading back to the US.

Source: Tourist who ‘wanted to see the pope’ smashes busts at the Vatican Museums

Source: U.S. tourist smashed ancient Roman sculptures at Vatican, authorities say