Man topples ancient Roman busts in Vatican museums

A man toppled two ancient Roman busts in the Vatican Museums on Wednesday, causing moderate damage, before being stopped by staff and arrested, a museums source said.

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to discuss an ongoing investigation, said the man was in his 50s and had “behaved strangely.”

He knocked two busts off their pedestals in the museums’ Chiaramonti hall, which houses more than 1,000 pieces and is one of the most important collections of Roman portrait busts.

Museum staff restrained the man, and Vatican police arrived a few minutes later to arrest him.

The two busts were damaged, but not severely, the source said, adding that they had already been taken to the restoration lab in the museums for repair.

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