Dubai: Sometimes selfies can go too far. We’ve heard of stories of people who teased mortality with their attempts for a ‘perfect’ photograph. In this case, the tourist came to no harm, but the plaster model of a 19th century sculpture did not survive the selfie taker.
The model that was damaged corresponds to a neoclassical marble piece by one of the greatest artists of the genre Antonio Canova, titled Pauline Bonaparte as Venus Victrix. It is part of the collection of the Galleria Borghese in Rome and depicts Napoleon Bonaparte’s sister as the Roman deity of love.
Apparently an Austrian tourist decided to sit on the sculpture to pose for a photograph at the Gypsotheca Antonio Canova museum in the northern village of Possagno in Italy on Friday. The result – several broken toes.
The museum said in a Facebook post that the visitor quietly walked away and did not alert the museum staff to the incident, which occurred on July 31. However, a guard later spotted the broken toes and surveillance footage revealed what had happened. The hunt is on for the rogue selfie-taker. Italian Carabinieri military police released CCTV footage of the incident.
Here is a video that has gone viral.
A twitter user @Oliver27506277 posted: "When you exhibit whatever you need to think about the dumbest people around. 1. build a little barrier 2. have someone actively there 3. put a sign on 4. put an alarm on."
In the video, the tourist, whose face is blurred, can be seen leaning on the plaster model of the "Paolina Borghese Bonaparte as Venus Victrix" while posing for a picture.
When he got up after getting the photo clicked, he accidentally snapped off part of the foot of the sculpture. He can be seen examining the damage he caused, and then swiftly making himself scarce.
According to the police, three toes of the sculpture were damaged and added that he was part of a group of eight Austrian tourists. Carabinieri's northern Treviso division said that the man was identified as the husband of the woman who organised the tour.
Tweep @Emptybluegmatic commented: “Why is it even allowed to ‘interact’ with the sculptures in the first place though? why isn't there a barrier separating these valuable pieces of art from people like these?”
Talking to CNN, investigators said: "There could be further damage to the base of the sculpture that the museum experts still have to ascertain."
The man, who was later tracked down, was said to be upset and confessed to having damaged the artwork. He repented for the "stupid move", the release said. A Treviso court is deciding whether the man should be charged for the damage.
Here’s a look back at some of the most catastrophic selfie driven destruction of art.
A woman damaged two artworks, by Francisco Goya and Salvador Dali, at a gallery in Yekaterinburg, Russia. She is seen knocking them over while trying to take a selfie.
Screen grab of the video:
In May 2016, just after midnight at Lisbon's Rossio train station, a 24-year-old man climbed up the decorative pedestal where a 126-year-old statue was perched for a selfie, knocking the entire figure to the ground and shattered.
In March 2014, a student visiting the Academy of Fine Arts of Brera in Milan jumped on a 19th -century statues' lap in an attempt to capture a photo, breaking its leg in the process.
A visitor to Portugal's National Museum of Ancient Art was trying to get a good shot of a different work, when he edged a little too close to an 18th century statue, and which then tumbled straight to the ground.
A couple with especially poor decision-making skills thought they'd place their child inside an ancient sandstone coffin on display—behind a barrier—at the Prittlewell Priory Museum in Southend, Essex. The sarcophagus, though already in three pieces, was further damaged when the coffin broke apart.