American tourist smashes two statues at the Vatican after being denied a visit with the Pope

Outrage at the Vatican Museums, where an American tourist threw two antique busts from the Chiaramonti gallery on the ground, damaging them in a fit of rage.

The man, in his fifties, was immediately arrested and handed over to the Gendarmerie according to a very strict internal procedure.

The man, an American tourist of Egyptian origins, wanted to see the Pope and when he was told that it was not possible he threw himself against the first bust, knocking it to the ground and damaging it. Then the second bust fell as he ran. The tourist was then blocked by the museum security. “These are minor works, two small busts and now the experts are weighing the damage and proceeding to recover the fragments for immediate restoration”.

The Gendarmerie, after having brought the tourist to the internal barracks to question him, then handed him over to the Italian authorities.

The shock in the Vatican for what happened was enormous. For some years a complex and sophisticated video surveillance system has been created to ensure maximum safety for visitors and the works on display, of immense value. Furthermore, the caretakers undergo continuous refresher courses and are all highly prepared to face even the most complex situations.

In the past, before Covid, the enormous flow of visitors had repeatedly aroused great concern, especially among art experts and tourist guides. Some of them had raised the alarm for the safety of the works of art since the museum route, in some passages, was unsuitable for the passage of thousands and thousands of people every hour. The ancient building, in some points being rather narrow, would bring out criticalities and potential risks. With the Jubilee of 2025 approaching and the tourist recovery at full speed, the same fears reappear.

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