A trio of Korean tourists crashed a drone fitted with a camera into the roof of Milan cathedral on Monday, in yet another destructive selfie incident.
One of the cathedral’s guards, Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo, reportedly noticed the drone and called the police. The authorities arrived just in time to see the men lose control of the drone.
The unmanned vehicle hit a construction cable, unhooking the line, and narrowly avoided hitting the gold Madonna statue atop the Duomo’s central spire. Luckily, the incident only caused minor damage.
Milan’s wedding cake-like cathedral dates back to 1386, but was under continuous construction until 1965, when it was officially completed. It’s not a great turn of events for the iconic structure, which was recently the subject of a massive crowdfunding campaign as part of efforts to have the city in top form in time for Expo Milan.
The three men, ages 35, 39, and 42, with the drone were visiting the city to make a presentation at the Korean pavilion at the Expo. They were using the drone to take aerial shots of the city and themselves, they said.
As drones have become increasingly popular, both recreationally, and as a tool used for the creation of art, there have been a growing number of drone-related incidents. There have been major security concerns over drones at Parisian landmarks, particularly in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attack, and there’s growing pressure to regulate drone traffic.
Italy also has what seems like more of its fair share of destructive tourists, between the drunk Dutch soccer fans who broke the Bernini fountain at the foot of the Spanish Steps, to American thieves at Pompeii and vandals at the Colosseum.
No word yet on whether or not the authorities will be pressing charges on the rogue drone operators.
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