Vandals attack statues in historic Rome palace
ROME (AFP) – Vandals have attacked and stolen several statues from the gardens of the Villa Medici in Rome including two works dating back to ancient Rome, the director of the French-owned palace told AFP on Wednesday.
“I am absolutely shocked by this act of vandalism,” Eric de Chassey told AFP, saying that the vandals had come twice last week and again overnight Monday when they were disturbed by a guard.
De Chassey said most of the statues attacked were Renaissance or 20th century copies of older works but two of them were authentically ancient, dating back around 2,000 years.
French and Italian police have been called in to investigate the thefts and the 16th-century villa’s management has beefed up security.
The Villa Medici, where French king Louis XIV established an Academy at the end of the 17th century, dominates the historic centre of Rome.
Every year it takes in around 20 artists from a variety of disciplines as fellows and it organizes regular exhibitions and concerts.
# # #
ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE