A German tourist has damaged the famous Fountain of Neptune in Florence after he climbed it to take a photo this weekend, Italian officials said.
The 22-year-old man broke off a piece of marble when he climbed on the monument’s chariot, also damaging the horse’s hoof on his way back down.
He caused around €5,000 ($5,400) of material damage and now faces a heavy fine.
Florence Mayor Dario Nardella posted footage of the incident on social media and the photo the tourist took.
“There is no justification for ignorance and vandalism towards cultural heritage,” the mayor wrote on Monday.
Vandalism of Italy’s cultural heritage
Tommaso Muccini, fine arts architect at the Palazzo Vecchio, said the 16th-century statue had been completely restored in 2018.
Muccini told Florence newspaper La Nazione that security cameras protect the fountain, but they only sounded an alarm as the “imbecile” tourist jumped down from the statue.
He said the damage would be repaired during scheduled maintenance in October.
The incident comes after several tourists were caught vandalizing historical attractions in Italy this summer, including a German teen who defaced the brickwork of the Colosseum in Rome.