A museum visitor who leaned across and damaged a reclining sculpture by Antonio Canova has been tracked down by police in Italy. The 50-year-old man from Austria was identified by surveillance video and from registration measures implemented during the COVID-19 crisis.
While viewing Canova's Paolina Borghese statue at the Gipsoteca Museum in Possagno, the man took a selfie with the piece and subsequently broke off the toes of the 200-year-old plaster cast. He seems to have noticed the damage and walked away, report multiple sources. The man has since confessed to the "stupid move," according to a press release from Treviso Carabinieri.
The case will be reviewed by criminal prosecutors in Treviso.
Vittorio Sgarbi, the president of the Antonio Canova Foundation, wrote on Facebook that he hopes the man does not go unpunished as "the scarring of a Canova is unacceptable."