A tourist wound up walking off with rare souvenirs from his trip to a museum -- three toes from a precious statue.
The incident occurred at the Gipsoteca Museum in Possagno, Italy on July 31, when a 50-year-old Austrian man was caught on surveillance video jumping onto the base of a 19th century sculpture, reported CNN.
The man was seen posing alongside a plaster cast model of Italian Neoclassical sculptor Antonio Canova's statue of Paolina Bonaparte.
In the video, the man can be seen sprawled out next to the over 200-year-old work of art as a woman takes his photo. Upon getting up, the man’s hand seems to make contact with foot of the statue. He then looks back, appears to pick up something and continues on his museum tour.
According to investigators, three toes snapped off and “there could be further damage to the base of the sculpture that the museum experts still have to ascertain,” the outlet noted.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the museum implemented safety protocols which require visitors to leave their personal information for contact tracing purposes in case of an outbreak.
When police contacted the woman who had signed in for herself and her husband, she began crying and confessed her husband was the toe mangler, according to CNN.
The man, whose identity has not been released, later confessed and acknowledged it was a “stupid move,” per the news site.
While a local court is deciding whether to press charges, an official with the famed marble sculptor’s foundation wants the man brought to justice.
The culprit must not "remain unpunished and return to his homeland. The scarring of a Canova is unacceptable,” wrote Vittorio Sgarbi, the president of the Antonio Canova Foundation, in a Facebook post.
According to ArtNews, the museum is in the process of restoring the damaged plaster sculpture, which was created in 1804.