An Irish tourist has broken a historic statue in Belgium just one day after it was unveiled to the public following a £15,000 restoration.
The building, now home to the new Belgian Beer World experience, had reopened the day before, on Saturday 9 September, after undergoing major renovation work that cost £77m in total.
Video shared online shows the moment the holidaymaker, who appears to be drunk, clambered on the statue depicting a man holding a torch next to a lion.
The footage shows him then steadying himself as goes to jump back down, managing to break off the torch and a large part of the statue’s arm.
Police cameras captured the act of accidental vandalism, and the man was reportedly intercepted and arrested by law enforcement in a nearby fast food restaurant not long after.
The building is now keen to claim the thousands of pounds-worth of damage directly from the tourist.
Nel Vandevennet, who managed the restoration project, described the man as being “in a merry mood”.
“The repairs are going to cost a lot of money because the work will have to be done by real craftsmen,” he said.
“It is listed heritage and there will be follow-up from the monuments and landscapes agency of the Brussels region.
“We would like to carry out the repairs quickly, but it will surely take a few weeks or even months.
“The whole building has only just been restored to its former glory, including the two lions which were in a bad way.
“We thought the sculptures would enjoy greater respect. We just think it’s very sad this happened.”
It is the latest in a long line of incidents of tourists behaving badly this summer.
A British tourist in Rome hit headlines when he carved his name into the Colosseum; the same act was repeated not soon after by a teenage girl on holiday in the Italian capital.
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