Priceless Bernini Monument in Rome Vandalized

The city is in shock as authorities try to track down offenders.

The vandalized Elephant and Obelisk, Rome.

One of Rome’s most famous sculptures, Bernini’s Elephant and Obelisk, has been marred by vandals leaving police scouring CC-TV footage in an attempt to locate the perpetrators. The offence took place overnight on Sunday.

According to The Telegraph, the 17th-century landmark had one of it’s tusks removed, which was found laying next to the statue on Monday morning by Spanish tourists who proceeded to alert authorities.

Virginia Raggi, Rome’s newly-elected mayor, told the Telegraph: “The defaced image of Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s elephant hurts all Romans. For us the protection of the city’s heritage is crucial. A first estimate of the damage suggests that it will be a few days before we try and reattach the fragment and return the statue to its former glory,” the mayor said.

The sculpture, which stands in the Piazza della Minerva in front of the ancient church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva, was designed by Italian artist Gian Lorenzo Bernini. The monument was commissioned by Pope Alexander VII after the Egyptian obelisk that sits atop the elephant’s back, was discovered in Rome.

The vandalism comes just 18 months after Dutch football fans caused serious damage to the Barcaccia fountain, which was designed by the artist’s Father, Pietro Bernini.

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