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German tourists accused of destroying 150-year-old Italian statue

The continuing series of vandalism incidents across Europe continues...
The continuing series of vandalism incidents across Europe continues... Copyright AP Photo/Luca Bruno - Instagram
Copyright AP Photo/Luca Bruno - Instagram
By David Mouriquand
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"Instead of influencers, call them stupids." A statue valued at €200,000 was broken by a group of German tourists, who “must pay a steep price," according to the councillor for culture of the Lombardy region.

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The continuing series of vandalism incidents across Europe continues, after at least three tourists accused of defacing the Roman Colosseum.

Now, a group of young German tourists is being accused of destroying a valuable 19th-century Italian fountain statue, after surveillance footage showed them toppling the figure while posing for photos.

The Domina statue by artist Enrico Butti is estimated to be around 150 years old and its statue is estimated at around €200,000.

According to Italian news agency Corriere della Sera, the group of German tourists had rented Villa Aleco, the home of the Domina statue. One of the tourists may have been the well-known influencer Janis Danner, who has one and a half million followers on Instagram.

"Domina was in a way the woman who protected the villa," stated Bruno Golferini, the manager of Villa Alceo in the town of Viggiu. "Sadly, there are these ignorant people who do these kind of things."

Golferini has lodged a complaint against all 17 of the tourists, who have since left Italy. Police are investigating the surveillance footage.

“When we realized it, it was too late,” Golferini told Italian news station TGCOM 24. “The boys did not respect the ban on entering the fountain and were filmed by video surveillance cameras while two of them embraced the statue, dropping it and destroying it, while four of their comrades shot videos with their cell phones.”

He said it would be difficult to repair the 1.70 metre statue.

Italy's Deputy Prime Minister of Infrastructure and Transport, Matteo Salvini, who reposted the story on Instagram said: "Instead of influencers, call them stupids."

Francesca Caruso, the councillor for culture of the Lombardy region, told Corriere della Sera that the group must pay for the damage. "Those who damage the artistic and cultural heritage must pay a steep price."

Additional sources • Corriere della Sera, Il Giorno, TGCOM 24

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