A group of tourists, including a well-known influencer, have been accused of destroying a $360,000 fountain in the Italian region of Lombardy.
The moment the sculpture was toppled was captured on CCTV, showing the tourists apparently posing for a selfie with the artwork.
Now Italy’s deputy prime minister has waded into the debacle, branding them as “imbeciles” and demanding reparations.
The 150-year-old fountain dates back to around the unification of Italy. Sculpted by Enrico Butti, the statue called “Domina” was pushed over by the group of tourists who were staying at the Villa Alceo.
Bruno Golferini, the property’s manager, lodged a complaint with local police on August 3 according to Reuters, with all 17 tourists reported for vandalism.
Golferini said the group have since left the country without leaving so much as an apology.
The Villa in northern Italy is a luxury holiday property and wedding venue, which charges $6149 per night.
CCTV footage from the moment the statue was toppled appeared to show two young men embracing the fountain, while a third jabs them with a cane. To their horror the whole lot topples.
Among those reported by the villa is thought to be celebrity influencer Janis Danner. The 28-year-old fashion model and football player for FC Augsburg with 1.5 million instagram followers, was named by EuroNews as a possible attendee of the rowdy Italian holiday.
By the time the villa discovered the damage, took place on Monday, they were unable to contact the guests.
“When we realised, it was too late,” Golferini told Italian news station TGCOM 24. They had already left the country.
Italy’s deputy prime minister and transport minister Matteo Salvini for the populist Lega Nord party, spoke out against the vandals.
“These are no ‘Influencers’, they should be called imbeciles,” quipped the Milanese politician.
Francesca Caruso, culture councillor for the Lombardy region, told news agency Corriere della Sera that they would seek damages from the group.
“Those who damage the artistic and cultural heritage must pay a steep price.”
The statue was estimated to be worth €200000 (NZ$360,000) and was carved by Enrico Butti, who was a renowned creator of monuments following the era of the unification of Italy.