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American tourist breaks finger of 600-year-old statue

Everyone knows the rules at a museum: no touching the artifacts.

The statue, seen here before the accident was created by Florentine Giovanni d'Ambrogio. Credit: Sailko/Wikicommons The statue, seen here before the accident was created by Florentine Giovanni d'Ambrogio.
Credit: Sailko/Wikicommons

Everybody knows that when you visit a museum, you’re not supposed to touch anything. You can’t touch the glass casing around an artifact, and you definitely cannot touch the artifact itself.

One American tourist from Connecticut, did just that, though, which resulted to a 600-year-old statue of the Virgin Mary losing a finger.

According to reports, the Patrick Broderick, 55, who is an emergency surgeon, was measuring his hand against the 14th century statute at the Museo Dell’Opera del Duomo (Museum of the Worlds of the Cathedral) in Italy. When he touched the statue’s finger, the finger broke off.

You’d think an emergency surgeon would be more careful with his hands. Broderick was arrested and taken into custody in front of his wife and two adult children.

“We are sure that the damage was caused the American tourist because the work has recently returned from the exhibition at the Uffizi Golden Flashes, where it was exposed, and then on its return was carefully controlled,” The museum’s head Timothy Verdon told the New York Daily News. “In a globalized world like ours, the fundamental rules for visiting a museum have been forgotten – that is, ‘Do not touch the works.’”

According to the Daily Mail Broderick apologized profusely.

“It’s not a tragedy as all the fingers have been restored before and are not marble but plaster held with metal rods,” Verdon said. “And thankfully we have a technical person in the museum who has fixed a finger before.”

According to reports, no charges have been filed by the museum and Broderick has not been asked to pay for the repairs.

Follow Mary Ann Georgantopoulos on Twitter @marygeorgant

 
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