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18th century statue destroyed by selfie-taking tourist

By Sarah Mulé
18th century statue destroyed by selfie-taking tourist
This statue of Saint Michael at the National Museum of Ancient Art in Lisbon, Portugal was knocked over and irreparably damaged by a tourist attempting to take a selfie. The statue dates back to the early 1700s. Photo by Daniel Villafruela/WikiCommons

LISBON, Portugal, Nov. 11 (UPI) -- A priceless 300-year-old statue in Lisbon's National Museum of Ancient Art shattered after it was knocked over by a tourist trying to snap a selfie.

Museum officials said the statue of Saint Michael, which dates back to the early 1700s, is broken beyond repair.

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The offending tourist reportedly posted a photo of the destroyed statue to Facebook and said, "It's the price to be paid for free entrances on the first Sunday of every month."

Portugal's Ministry of Culture said the accident has raised concerns about adequate security in the museum, which museum officials said was lacking.

"This misfortune has called attention to these issues," the Ministry said, adding an increase in museum staff "is underway."

Portuguese authorities are still investigating and are unsure if any charges will be filed against the tourist.

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