Tourist's 19th-Century Statue Photo-Op Goes Horribly Wrong

Lee Moran
·2 min read

It wasn’t the kind of snap he was hoping for.

A tourist posing for a photograph ended up accidentally breaking the toes off a 19th-century sculpture by Italian artist Antonio Canova.

Surveillance footage shows the unidentified man from Austria leaning against Canova’s plaster model of Pauline Bonaparte, the sister of French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, in the Museo Canova in Possagno, Italy, on Friday.

The tourist looked at the damage and then walked off.

Check out the video here:

The 50-year-old man later apologized for the damage he’d caused after a video of the incident went viral and he saw coverage of it in the Austrian media.

“It was irresponsible behavior on my part,” he wrote in a letter to the museum, according to its Facebook page.

The toes were snapped off this 19th-century sculpture of Pauline Bonaparte after a 50-year-old man posed for a picture with it. (Photo: Reuters)
The toes were snapped off this 19th-century sculpture of Pauline Bonaparte after a 50-year-old man posed for a picture with it. (Photo: Reuters)

The museum in Possagno is dedicated to the works of Canova, who died in 1822. The marble version of Canova’s plaster statue of Bonaparte sits in the Galleria Borghese in Rome:

The marble version of the statue sits in the Galleria Borghese in Rome. (Photo: ASSOCIATED PRESS)
The marble version of the statue sits in the Galleria Borghese in Rome. (Photo: ASSOCIATED PRESS)

It’s unclear if the tourist will be charged with a criminal offense.

Museum officials expressed hope, however, that they would be able to successfully repair the damage, given how the broken toes were left in situ on the floor.

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This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.