The plinths of two marble sculptures displayed in the Grand Trianon park at Versailles have been severely damaged by a suspected “malicious act,” AFP reports.
The damage was discovered by Versailles staff on Wednesday. The two sculptures, which date from the late 17th century to early 18th century, were protected against frost with covers. While they are thought to be unharmed, they have been sent to Versailles’ conservation department for further examination.
The sculptures are by an unknown sculptor, and represent the ancient king Mithridates and an allegory of Europe.
A police spokesperson told AFP that such incidents were rare in Versailles. The local police will lead the investigation.
The Versailles domain, which includes the palace, the Grand Trianon, the Petit Trianon, as well as the gardens, welcomes over 10 million visitors every year, 7.5 million of whom visit the palace.
The Palace of Versailles was a royal residence in the suburbs of Paris. Radically transformed by Louis XIV, it became the center of the court in the late 17th century.
For the last seven years, Versailles has hosted blue-chip contemporary art exhibitions, showcasing the works of Jeff Koons, Takashi Murakami, and Joana Vasconcelos, among others. British artist Anish Kapoor will walk in their footsteps in 2015 (see “Anish Kapoor Tapped for 2015 Solo Show at Versailles”).
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