American Tourist Breaks Finger Off 600-Year-Old Statue At Italian Museum By Accident (VIDEO)

08/06/2013 12:36 pm 12:36:54 | Updated Aug 08, 2013

There's a reason most museums tell visitors to look, not touch.

An American tourist broke a finger off a statue at the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo in Firenze, Italy, on Monday.

According to Corriere Fiorentino, the 55-year-old Missouri man was measuring the right hand of the ancient artwork when he unintentionally snapped the pinky finger off the estimated 600-year-old piece. A security guard monitoring the exhibit reacted immediately but apparently intervened a moment too late.

As to be expected, museum officials were none too happy with the apparent accident.

Fortunately, the broken piece was not part of the original work by Giovanni d'Ambrogio, a late 14th-century Florentine sculptor. Museum director Timothy Verdon confirmed to Italian media that the plaster finger was one of several restorations made to the Virgin Mary statue throughout the years. Experts are currently working to determine the extent of the damage, Firenze Today reports.

For his part, the American tourist apologized, but he may be financially liable for the damage, Italy's The Local notes.

In another mishap earlier this year, a Chinese tourist ignited outrage after the teen defaced an Egyptian temple by etching "Ding Jinhao was here" onto a wall.

Watch an Italian news report below:

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