Vatican City – Outrage to Vatican museums, where an American tourist exploded and threw two antique busts from the Chiaramonti gallery on the ground, damaging them. It happened in Rome around noon. A handful of seconds, under the astonished gaze of some petrified tourists who were unable to stop him and two keepers, who instead had an immediate reaction time. The man was immediately stopped, calmed and handed over to the Gendarmerie according to a very strict internal procedure. According to the dynamics reconstructed by the museum management also thanks to the cameras that are everywhere, the episode ended fortunately without too much damage.
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Damages two busts in the Vatican Museums, tourist stopped
The man, a middle-aged American tourist of Egyptian origin, wanted to see the Pope and when he was told it was not possible he threw himself on a first bust and threw him to the ground, damaging it. Then the second bust fell as he ran. The tourist was then blocked by the museum keepers and the works brought to the laboratory. “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 and have the exact personal details, as always is done in similar cases, 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 flows 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 at the door and the tourist recovery at full speed, the same fears reappear. Perhaps it is also for this reason that, according to what is learned, the Vatican is strengthening the security sector in view of the Holy Year with a meeting scheduled for next week.