Vatican Museums closed to the public after tourist smashes statue of Venus

American tourist smashes two sculptures in the Vatican Museum By Steve Marcus 24 September 2017 A tourist from southern Australia smashed bronze statues of the goddess of love and fertility in the Vatican Museums…

Vatican Museums closed to the public after tourist smashes statue of Venus

American tourist smashes two sculptures in the Vatican Museum

By Steve Marcus

24 September 2017

A tourist from southern Australia smashed bronze statues of the goddess of love and fertility in the Vatican Museums Wednesday morning.

Video footage of the attack, which lasted for a few minutes, show two statues of the goddess Venus being smashed by a tourist standing behind them.

The tourist smashed a statue of the goddess of love with the heel of her shoe before he was hit by a security guard.

The incident occurred as an Associated Press photographer was taking pictures of the damage.

Vatican spokesman Alessandro Gisotti said the statues of Venus, which are in the Roman collection of sculptures on the lower floor of the Vatican Museums, are on temporary exhibition.

“The statues were placed on temporary exhibition and are under observation by the relevant authorities,” Gisotti wrote in an email.

The statue of Venus will remain on display until June 2018.

The Vatican Museums are the largest in the world on a per capita basis.

Gisotti said the incident occurred before 9 a.m. local time.

“It was reported to the security agencies who are investigating as soon as possible, who are currently following up,” he said.

The Vatican Museums were closed to the public as a result of the incident.

Vatican spokesman Alessandro Gisotti said the incident occurred during the morning opening of the Museums.

“The statues are on temporary exhibition under observation of the relevant agencies, who have contacted us to alert the staff,” Gisotti said.

“We await more details.”

Gisotti added that anyone who feels “the need to vandalise religious symbols is invited to repair it and return it to its place.”

In January, the Australian government closed the Vatican Museums to the public to prevent vandalism.

At the time, Gisotti blamed political factors like the “divisive climate in the world” for the unprecedented

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