Tourist shatters Portuguese statue while trying to take selfie

A tourist destroyed a statue of the archangel Saint Michael at Lisbon’s National Museum of Ancient Art when trying to take a selfie. Photo: Getty Images 

A tourist visiting the Lisbon’s National Museum of Ancient Art (NMAA) this past Sunday accidentally knocked over an eighteenth-century statue while trying to take a selfie.

According to national Portuguese newspaper Diario de Noticias, the museum is a tad understaffed, with as few as 30 guards manning the 82 rooms that are open to the public.

This past Sunday, a Brazilian tourist was visiting the museum’s Portuguese sculpture gallery and decided a selfie was in order. While framing the shot, he backed up into a wooden statue of archangel Saint Michael, knocking it to the floor.

Photo: Muno Miguel Rodrigues via Publico 

The museum’s deputy director José Alberto Seabra Carvalho described the statue, estimated to have been constructed between 1765-1790, as a good example of Portuguese sculpture from that period. He also explained that though it had been badly damaged, the restoration would not be technically complicated.

The museum is considering changing the way the statue is mounted and displayed to prevent future accidents.

Museum visitor Nuno Miguel Rodriges was in the room at the time of the accident and snapped a photo of the fallen statue which he then shared with the newspaper Publico. Rodriges told the paper there was a guard in the room at the time.

“Everyone was incredulous at what had happened,” said Rodriges. “There was a great silence.”