Tourist Goes on Rampage, Starts Destroying Busts in Vatican After He's Denied Visit with Pope


An American tourist made his country look bad in a Wednesday rampage in a Vatican museum.

The unidentified man allegedly smashed two different statues in the Chiaramonti hall of the Vatican Museums, according to the New York Post.

The ill-behaved guest sought a personal meeting with the Pope, according to the Italian outlet Il Messagero.

When his inquiry for a papal meeting was rebuffed, the man damaged one statue.

Vatican Police apprehended the man after he sought to leave the museum, smashing another statue in his attempt at escape. The Vatican City State is a sovereign country with its own criminal justice system.

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The statues date to the ancient Roman period, according to the Post.

The Chiaramonti Hall of the museum complex hosts an extensive collection of Roman busts and statues.

A photo of the arrest shows pieces of ancient statues strewn on the museum hall.

The Vatican’s collection contains a plethora of statues and artwork from the medieval era and antiquity.

Some pieces, such as busts of ancient Roman historical figures, are considered to be nearly priceless.

A representative for the Vatican confirmed that the statues had been damaged in the act of vandalism, but clarified that the museum anticipates restoring both. One statue was evidently beheaded, according to CNN.

“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,” Matteo Alessandrini said.

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The Vatican’s antiquities workshop is already working to repair the damaged statues, according to Alessandrini.

“They will soon be restored and back at the museum.”

The suspect in the act of vandalism was later transferred to the custody of Italian authorities, according to CNN.

The 65-year-old arrested in the incident has been charged with aggravated property damage, according to The Washington Post. An Italian police representative indicated the tourist was “psychologically distressed” when the vandalism occurred.

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