Tourist snaps the toes off a 200-year-old sculpture at Italian museum

A quick snap! Tourist accidentally breaks the toes off a 200-year-old sculpture at Italian museum while lying on it for a selfie

  • The tourist leaned on the ‘Paolina Borghese Bonaparte as Venus Victrix’ artwork
  • He accidentally broke off three of the toes of the 200-year-old sculpture 
  • Police say they have identified the man as a 50-year-old Austrian tourist 

A tourist damaged a 19th century plaster model by sculptor Antonio Canova while taking a selfie. 

The tourist, who has been revealed as a 50-year-old man from Austria, leaned on the ‘Paolina Borghese Bonaparte as Venus Victrix’ artwork while posing for a photograph. 

He accidentally broke off three of the toes of the sculpture, at the Gypsotheca Antonio Canova museum in Possagno, Italy on July 31. 

The man’s name has not yet been released.  

A tourist who damaged a 19th century plaster model by sculptor Antonio Canova has been identified by Italian police

CCTV footage shows the man jumping onto the 200-year-old statue’s base to take the picture and snapping off its toes in the process 

CCTV footage shows the man jumping onto the 200-year-old statue’s base to take the picture and snapping off its toes in the process. 

Speaking to CNN, police said the man was part of a group of Austrian tourists. 

They said the incident happened when the man broke away from his friends to get a selfie while ‘sprawled over the statue.’

According to investigators, there could be further damage caused to the base of the sculpture that is yet to be discovered.   

The man was reportedly identified through personal contact details left at the museum as part of new requirements for tracking visitors amid the coronavirus.

The ‘Paolina Borghese Bonaparte as Venus Victrix’ marble sculpture by Antonio Canova at the Galleria Borghese museum prior to the incident in May this year 

According to a press release from Treviso Carabinieri, when contacted by police the man confessed to the ‘stupid move’.

Antonio Canova was an Italian neoclassical sculptor who lived from 1757 to 1822 and was renowned for his marble statues. 

His ‘Paolina Borghese Bonaparte as Venus Victrix’ is a 1805-1808 marble sculpture.

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