ROME (Reuters) – A group of young German tourists posing for pictures to post on social media have been accused of toppling a valuable statue at a villa in northern Italy, the villa’s manager said on Thursday.
Two of the group climbed into a fountain to hug the work “Domina” by the artist Enrico Butti and another pushed it with a stick before the 1.70 metre statue crashed to the ground, Bruno Golferini, the manager of Villa Alceo in the town of Viggiu, said.
Golferini said he had lodged a complaint with the local police against all 17 German tourists who were in the group renting the villa. They have left Italy since the incident on Monday that was captured by the villa’s surveillance cameras.
The statue was around 150 years old and valued at around 200,000 euros ($218,000), added Golferini, saying it would be hard to repair because of additional damage to the tiles in the fountain.
“Domina was in a way the woman who protected the villa,” he said. “Sadly, there are these ignorant people who do these kind of things,” he added.
There was anger in Italy in June when a tourist from England was pictured on social media scribbling the graffiti “Ivan + Hayley 23” on a wall at the Colosseum in Rome.
($1 = 0.9158 euros)
(Writing by Keith Weir; editing by Barbara Lewis)