Postcard from... Milan


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The Independent Online

No doubt the culprit positioned himself in just the right angle, capturing his best side, perhaps with the mobile phone camera pointing downwards, for the most flattering shot.

But for a photo with that added je ne sais quoi, the artist had also decided to climb onto a statue at Milan’s Pinacoteca di Brera gallery. Before he could take the all-important selfie, however, the statue’s left leg snapped off at the knee.

The damage to the early-19th-century work, a copy of the celebrated Drunken Satyr from 220BC in ancient Greece, was captured on video and discovered by horrified staff yesterday morning in the  city’s most prestigious art gallery. Corriere della Sera reported that the vandal was  a male student.

The subject of the sculpture is portrayed lying on a rock to show the effects of wine and intoxication.

With his legs spread, and head held in his arms and turned sideward, the impression is one of spontaneity and great naturalness – the complete opposite of the narcissistic pose being assumed by the cameraman before he fled the scene.

So far there are no traces of the culprit.

Authorities at the museum have expressed relief that only a copy was ruined in Monday evening’s incident.