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14th century Italian statue's finger knocked off by American tourist

An American tourist visiting Florence's Museo dell'Opera del Duomo sparks outrage overseas after he accidentally knocks a finger off a 14th century statue while trying to measure it.
Italian statue finger snapped 2013 08 06Enlarge
An American tourist visiting Florence's Museo dell'Opera del Duomo accidentally broke a finger off a 14th century statue on display. (Opera del Duomo/Umberto Visintini/Courtesy)

Talk about an "oops" of historic proportions.

An American tourist visiting Italy's Museo dell'Opera del Duomo in Florence has sparked outrage overseas after knocking the finger off a priceless 14th century statue.

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The tourist, reportedly a 55-year-old Missouri man, was measuring the statue's pinky finger when he accidentally snapped it off.

The statue is thought to be the work of medieval sculptor Giovanni D’Ambrogio.

Security guards said they saw the man touching the statue, a violation of museum rules, but couldn't stop him from damaging it in time.

“In a globalized world like ours, the fundamental rules for visiting a museum have been forgotten," the American head of the museum, Timothy Verdon, told MSN UK. "That is, ‘Do not touch the works.’”

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Turns out, the finger was not an original part of the piece, which has been damaged before.

Art restorers told ABC News they were confident it could be fixed.

As for the tourist? He was taken to a local police department and questioned, but not charged.

He's said to be "very disappointed."

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