American tourist destroys two ancient Roman statues in the Vatican

An American tourist visiting the Vatican on Wednesday vandalized two ancient Roman statues. According to the Vatican, he was reportedly in a “state of movement” when the two statues were thrown.

The suspect, around 60, is believed to have been in Rome for three days when he visited the Vatican, which is the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church and where Pope Francis lives and works.

The statues were in the Chiaramonti Gallery of the Vatican Museum, which is full of busts. One ear and nose on both faces were damaged and the marble base of one was shattered. The statues were taken to the restoration laboratory of the Vatican Museums.

Vatican City has religious sites, such as St. Peter’s Basilica, as well as the Vatican Museums, all of which can be visited by tourists. It is a city-state with its own police force called the Vatican Gendarmerie, which handed over the suspect to the Italian police for questioning.

CBS News has reached out to the Vatican for more information and is awaiting a response.

Rom Vatican
An image of the Chiaramonti Gallery, part of the Vatican Museums, taken in 1997.

Lothar M. via Getty Images. photo of peter/ulstein

The Vatican Museums houses thousands of pieces of modern religious art and Renaissance art, including the iconic Sistine Chapel decorated by Michelangelo.

Photography is not allowed in the chapel, and there is a strict dress code and security. Earlier this year, actor Jason Momoa caught fire To photograph in the Sistine Chapel during a film shoot in Italy.

Momoa shared several photos from inside the historic chapel, which features masterpieces by the famous Michelangelo, and fans on Instagram were quick to point out that photography was not allowed. To apologize, Momoa posted a video of himself working out on Instagram, then added: “It’s my last day in Rome, and I just love you and Italy. If you ever thought I’d love your culture disrespected, so it was not my intention.”

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