Around noon on Wednesday, two 2,000 year old ancient Roman statues in the Chiaramonti Gallery of the Vatican Museums were toppled to the ground by a tourist.
A man said to be around 65 years old was seen talking to himself and demanding publicly to see the pope.
When his request was denied, he hurled his body into a bust and ran into another one while fleeing museum security.
Director of the Press Office for Vatican Museums Matteo Alessandrini said:
“The busts were affixed to shelves with a nail but if you pull them down with force they will come off. He pulled down one and then the other and the guards came immediately and stopped him and consigned him to the Vatican police who brought him in for questioning. Around 5:30 p.m. he was handed over to the Italian authorities.”
According to DailyMail, a source at a museum said he had “behaved strangely” and was charged by the Italian police, who determined the man had mental health disorders with a history of committing similar acts in public.
The restoration lab of the Vatican Museums estimate it will take around 300 hours of work and $15,000 dollars to restore the damaged statues.
Alessandrini said ultimately, “the scare was bigger than the actual damage” and “they will soon be restored and back at the Museum.”
“The 2 busts have been damaged but not particularly badly. One lost part of a nose and an ear, the head of the other came off the pedestal.”
See the state of the statues below:
— Gareth Harney (@OptimoPrincipi) October 5, 2022