An unfortunate incident took place in the northern Italian city of Cremona, involving Statue of the Two Hercules (circa 1700). The marble statue is of the city’s coat of arms held by two figures of Hercules, and considered a symbol of the city, as the demigod is said to have founded Cremona. The scultpure was originally displayed above the city gates – which were demolished in 1910 – since 1962, the piece has been located under the portico of Loggie dei Militi, which is a historic 1292 building that formerly housed the city militia.
Over the weekend, a pair of tourists accidentally broke the work while taking a photo with it, knocking off a portion of the statue’s crown, which shattered on the ground. The never-ending pursuit of the perfect ‘selfie’ has. it would seem, caused havoc in Cremona, the two ‘selfish’ perpetrators have reportedly been identified by authorities, but it is not yet known if charges will be brought against the individuals.
This is not the first time that Italian art has fallen victim to the act of selfie-taking. Previously, a student broke a 19th-century cast of an ancient Greek work at Milan’s Academy of Fine Arts of Brera when he tried to hop in its lap for a photograph. Rioting Dutch football fans also recently damaged Bernini’s Fontana della Barcaccia, at the foot of Rome’s Spanish steps, and tourists were caught defacing the Colosseum.
Reprtadly, experts are being brought in this week to access the damage and determine whether or not the piece can be repaired.