You have heard about the Belgian tourist arrested in Türkiye over a week ago, and this time, an American tourist has been arrested after smashing ancient Roman statues in a museum in Israel.
The tourist, a 40-year-old man, went on a rampage in a museum in Jerusalem, smashing two ancient Roman statues on display he said were “blasphemous” and “violate” the Torah. The Torah refers to the first five books of the Jewish bible.
Israeli police arrested the tourist on Thursday.
2 statues smashed
The museum confirmed that the two statues destroyed were ancient Roman statues dating back to the second century CE.
Eli Escusido, the head of the Israel Antiquities Authority, said the first statue is a marble depiction of the goddess Athena that was unearthed in the 1960s.
The second was the statue of Griffin, a mythological creature, which was the symbol of divinity during the Roman pagan era. It was found in the Negev.
One of the statues had its head severed, while the other had been broken into pieces.
The statues have since been turned over to the museum’s conversation lab for restoration, the police said.
Security personnel in the museum detained the American tourist while waiting for the police to arrive and conduct the arrest. According to the police, investigations are already ongoing.
While the head of the Israel Antiquities Authority recognizes that the attack is “a shocking case of destruction of cultural heritage,” they said they are also aware that religious extremists might do such action.