Well, everyone, cancel your European vacations, because one unidentified Missouri man has ruined it for all Americans potentially traveling abroad. Museum officials at Florence's Museo dell'Opera del Duomo confirmed Tuesday that a 55-year-old Missourian snapped the finger off of a 600-year-old statue by medieval sculptor Giovanni D'Ambrogio. The statue depicts the Virgin Mary. Museum officials are not happy. Obviously.
Apparently, the tourist was trying to measure the finger on the statue when he broke it off. It's not known why he was measuring it. To make a full-scale replica in his Missouri home? Because men just like to measure things? Timothy Verdon, the museum's head, pointed out how wrong this was: "In a globalized world like ours, the fundamental rules for visiting a museum have been forgotten, that is, 'Do not touch the works.'"
Don't touch the works. Pretty simple. One day, Americans are going to get this, but until then, let's hang our heads in shame. For his part, the tourist apologized and looked, allegedly, "very disappointed."
Photo by Museo dell'Opera del Duomo.