An Irish tourist damages the statue outside the Brussels Stock Exchange the day after it was unveiled following a £15,000 restoration
- Ire was arrested after breaking off part of the “Hand with Torch” statue
- The Stock Exchange has just undergone a £77 million restoration, including work on the statue
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An Irishman was arrested in Brussels after breaking off part of a statue outside the city’s stock exchange that had just cost £15,000 to restore.
The city center building known as the Bourse had only reopened the day before Sunday’s incident following a three-year restoration project costing £77 million.
In a shocking video, the man, who appears to be drunk, can be seen climbing the statue, called the “Hand with the Torch,” which is one of two statues flanking the entrance.
The amazed crowd watched him as he climbed the sculpture depicting a lion and a man with a torch.
As he tries to dismount the work of art, he clings to it to steady himself, breaks the flashlight and what appears to be part of the arm, and jumps to the ground.
The amazed crowd watched him as he climbed the sculpture depicting a lion and a man with a torch
In a video of the incident taken on Sunday, the man can be seen holding onto the statue’s arm for support
The torch and what appears to be part of the statue’s arm clatter to the ground as the man goes down
It is believed the man was intercepted and arrested by police at a nearby fast food restaurant shortly afterwards.
Belgian media report that the stock exchange now wants to recover the thousands in damages directly from the man.
Nel Vandevennet, who led the restoration project, told the outlet VRT NWS: “The repairs will cost a lot of money because the work will have to be carried out by real craftsmen.”
“It is a listed building and is being followed up by the Brussels Region Monuments and Landscape Authority.”
Pictures show the erosion the stone statue suffered before its restoration. Now we have to work on it again.
Pictures show the statue in a dilapidated state before it was restored. Now we have to work on it again
The landmark’s reopening has been eagerly awaited in the Belgian city and tours are being offered to welcome tourists
“We want to make the repairs quickly, but it will certainly take a few weeks or even months,” Vandevennet said.
“The entire building has just been restored to its former glory, including the two lions that were in poor health.”
“We thought the sculptures would get more respect.” “We just find it very sad that this happened.”
The landmark’s reopening has been eagerly awaited in the Belgian city and tours are being offered to welcome tourists.
It’s not the only attraction damaged by tourists this summer: in June, Rome’s Colosseum was targeted by a vacationer.
Ivan Dimitrov, 27, who also goes by the name Ivan Hawkins, was caught on camera by an American tourist scratching the words “Ivan and Hayley 23” into the brickwork with a bunch of keys.
Then in July, a 17-year-old Swiss girl was caught carving into the walls of the old amphitheater.