Tourist Destroys Statue in Portuguese Museum While Attempting a Selfie

The 18th-century statue was severely damaged.

The 18th century statue of archangel Saint Michael, now no longer. Photo via fabiocarvalho2105 on Instagram

The curse of the hapless selfie taker has struck yet again, this time at the National Museum of Ancient Art (NMAA) in Lisbon, Portugal.

This past Sunday, November 6, a Brazilian holidaymaker was taking a turn around the popular tourist attraction which houses 40,000 artifacts described as “national treasures.” On spotting the polychrome wooden statue of Archangel Saint Michael the nameless goon was struck with the desire to photograph himself next to it.

Recommend: Clumsy Tourist Trips and Smashes 4,000-Year-Old Greek Vase

Getting into position, he backed into the 18th-century work of a winged angel standing on a cloud in Roman-style armor and knocked it onto the ground, smashing it into many pieces.

`The statue prior to the incident. Photo via penasgp on Instagram

The statue prior to the incident. Photo via penasgp on Instagram

“There were guards in the room at the time it happened … Everyone was incredulous at what had happened and there was a great silence,” witness Nuno Miguel Rodrigues told Portuguese newspaper Público.

Needless to say the eyewitnesses and horrified fans of the work took to social media to express their shock at the incident, the resulting image was soon circulated by the media.

Deputy museum director Jose Alberto Seabra Carvalho, expressed his astonishment to the local papers, according to the Daily Mail.

“I’ve been working in the museum for many years and cannot recall anything similar happening,” he mused.

“The statue is very affected in the wings, in one arm and mantle. The damage is severe but reversible,” he added, speaking to Diário de Notícias.

Earlier this year, the museum director Antonio Filipe Pimentel expressed concern that financial pressures had lead the museum to shed staff.

“There are only 64 people for 84 chambers open to public I am very sure one day we will see hazards in the museum. It will happen because we’re playing with our heritage,” he said according to the Daily Mail.

It seems that Pimentel’s concerns were well founded and unfortunately for the museum and the art lovers who visit it, he now has one less statue on view as a result.


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