An American tourist has been handed over to Italian authorities after allegedly smashing artifacts at the Vatican.

According to the Italian newspaper Il Messaggero, an American tourist lost his temper and went into a rage, throwing two antique busts to the ground in rage. The busts were on display at one of the museums at the Vatican.

The man who allegedly damaged the sculptures is an American in his mid-50s who went on the rampage when he was denied an audience with the Pope.

The story cites quick action by attendants at the Chiaramonti Gallery who were able to detain the man and turn him over into the custody of the Gendarmerie, as per operating procedures set forth by the management of the museum.


It is reported that the man (allegedly) threw himself onto one of the busts when he was told that he could not see the Pope, (allegedly) dragging the bust to the ground with him. In his (alleged) attempt to flee, he (allegedly) knocked over the second bust, (allegedly) damaging it.

The damaged busts were gathered up and taken to "the laboratory", according to one person quoted in the story from Il Messaggero.

The representative from the museum said that the statues are "minor works", and that experts are analyzing the pieces in hopes of restoring them.


Had the man escaped, he probably would not have been on the lam for long: the Vatican and the museums utilize a sophisticated video surveillance system, so his image could have been broadcast around the world in minutes.

Onlookers, reports say, were shocked at the outburst.

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