Saturday, 21 September 2013

Butter Fingers

American tourists, don't have the greatest of reputations for respecting other peoples cultures (nor in fact do the British) .... but doing a museum is kinda expected when visiting Florence, but no one really claims to have enjoyed it. However, what little good reputation the US traveller still had in Italy, took a serious nose-dive after an American tourist 'man handled' (probably just grasped) a 14th-Century statue in the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo in the Italian city of Florence.

Normally this would have earned him just a rebuke by the security guards, but things went a little further when the statue promptly lost a finger .... the nearest guard had tried to stop the tourist but was too late to avert the damage. Now if the sculpture (believed to be the work of Giovanni d'Ambrogio) had been of a leper, then all might have been well (after all, what would one finger here or there matter?), but it wasn't, and it isn't. The museum's director wasn't a happy bunny, and although the tourist 'apologised' he may well be liable to a fine, he may well be forced to pay for the repair (although its unclear how much it will cost to fix the broken finger).

Losing Fingers Off Statues Can Lead To Unfortunate Results ...

On the bright side, he wasn't the first person to have damaged this statue, at least one other medieval 'tourist' had suffered the same embarrassment as the finger which came off, was in fact a replacement for the original,
and had been added at a later date.


  1. You have to wonder, what was he thinking to touch an ancient statue in a museum? Much like the woman who was mauled by a polar bear having climbed over a security fence to get a closer look!
    It could be worse, the hand in the photo on the right! ..and probably will be in a few years.

    1. It shows how fragile some of the pieces are in museums, particularly those unprotected from the public .... one nutter with a hammer could destroy some items. The Portland Vase springs to mind.


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