An allegedly drunk Irish tourist was arrested for vandalizing a recently restored statue outside Brussels Stock Exchange building Sunday evening, according to multiple reports.
The incident occurred one day after the building’s grand reopening, following a three-year, $95,530,820 (£77 million) restoration project, the Daily Mail reported. The new damages will cost approximately $19,000 (£17,600), according to a Brussels news outlet.
In a video, the tourist, appearing intoxicated, scaled the statue known as “the hand with a torch,” located at the entrance.
An Iconic statue in Brussels was damaged by a tourist days after an $150m restoration project was completed. pic.twitter.com/Xhr2s4rZuU
— New York Post (@nypost) September 14, 2023
“The repairs are going to cost a lot of money because the work will have to be done by real craftsmen,” Nel Vandevennet, who managed the restoration project, told VRT NWS. “We would like to carry out the repairs quickly, but it will surely take a few weeks or even months.”
The statue, featuring a lion and a figure holding a torch, was partially damaged as the man tried to descend, accidentally snapping the torch and a portion of the arm. He was apprehended by the police shortly afterward.
“The whole building has only just been restored to its former glory, including the two lions which were in a bad way,” Vandevennet continued. “We thought the sculptures would enjoy greater respect. We just think it’s very sad this happened.”
This is not the first attraction that suffered damage from tourists this summer. In August, German tourists allegedly destroyed a priceless 19th-century Italian fountain statue while posing for a picture. In June, a man was accused of etching “Ivan + Hayley 23” on the stone wall of the famous ancient Roman amphitheater.