Around the world, American tourists get a bad rap for being obnoxious, inconsiderate, and just plain stupid. That's because of travelers like this guy.
Yesterday, a 55-year old man from Missouri broke the finger off of a 600-year old statue in Florence, Italy. The statue, a depiction of the Virgin Mary believed to be by Giovanni d'Ambrogio, is housed in the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo.
Sky News reports, "whether he was comparing hand spans or giving the statue a high-five is unclear but the end result was that the pinky finger of the statue's right hand was broken off." We hope for the sake of American tourists everywhere that he wasn't giving the statue a high-five.
The Midwestern tourist may be financially responsible for the damage, but lucky for him, the finger is not actually 600-years old. The broken appendage is part of a restoration job completed more recently.
The real tragedy of the story may be that the world will continue to think that American tourists, like small children, can't be trusted in museums. At least we have China's Ding Jinhao and Spain's Cecilia Gímenez to show that it's not just the US citizens who can't keep their hands to themselves.