The damaged "Statue of the Two Hercules" in Cremona. The text reads: "Yesterday evening someone amused himself with our..." (photo by lorenz71vige/Instagram)

The damaged “Statue of the Two Hercules” in Cremona. The text reads: “Yesterday evening someone amused himself with our…” (photo by lorenz71vige/Instagram)

On Friday two tourists visiting the northern Italian city of Cremona broke part of an 18th-century sculpture they were climbing to take a selfie. The artwork, known as the “Statue of the Two Hercules,” features two life-size sculptures of the half-god holding the city’s emblem, with a crown atop it.

Part of the crown fell and smashed in Friday’s incident, The Local reports. By Sunday Italian police had identified the perpetrators of the statue-smashing snafu, and today technicians were due to inspect the damaged elements.

Since 1962, the sculpture has been installed under the portico of La Loggia dei Militi in the center of Cremona. However, it originally stood atop one of the gates to the city and is considered a symbol of Cremona, which, as legend has it, was founded by Hercules.

La Loggia dei Militi in Cremona, Italy; the “Statue of the Two Hercules” sits in its portico. (photo by David Nicholls/Wikimedia Commons)

It’s been a rough couple of years for Italian sculptures. In February Dutch soccer fans damaged a 17th-century fountain by Pietro and Gian Lorenzo Bernini during riots in Rome. In March 2014, a man broke the leg off a sculpture at Milan’s Academy of Fine Arts of Brera while climbing on it to pose for a selfie. And in the summer of 2013 a US tourist broke a finger off a sculpture by Giovanni d’Ambrogio at the Galleria dell’Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence.

In spite of the serious risks selfies apparently pose to sculptures, a project last year attempted to create photos that appear to have been taken by works of classical statuary.

Cremona’s “Statue of the Two Hercules” in happier times (photo by dashalovekiev/Instagram)

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Benjamin Sutton

Benjamin Sutton is an art critic, journalist, and curator who lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn. His articles on public art, artist documentaries, the tedium of art fairs, James Franco's obsession with Cindy...

2 replies on “Selfie Snappers Smash Baroque Sculpture in Herculean Feat of Stupidity”

  1. um … is that a (large) baby’s arm holding an apple? Sorry. Had to ask. No disrespect intended …

    1. Ha ha ha! Your comment earned you a personally autographed picture of Randall Mantooth, Bob Dylan’s new unlisted phone number, a beautifully restored Third Reich swizzle stick, Rosemary’s baby, a dream date in knee pads with Paul Williams, and a solid gold Kama Sutra coffee pot…

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