An American tourist has been taken into custody after officials say he damaged two ancient Roman sculptures at the Vatican Wednesday afternoon, multiple outlets are reporting.
The space joins the Palace of the Belvedere to the Vatican Palaces and holds more than 1,000 ancient sculptures and boasts "one of the finest collections of Roman portraits" in the world.
Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni told Adnkronos the tourist, a 65-year-old American born in Egypt, threw two sculptures on two shelves in the gallery to the ground. The tourist, whose name was not released, he said, was later handed over to the Italian authorities to face charges including aggravated damage.
The outlet reported it will take about 15,000 euros (about $14,800 U.S. dollars) and about 300 hours of work to restore the damaged sculptures.
The Vatican could not immediately be reached for comment by USA TODAY.
The man had demanded to see the pope, according to Il Messaggero, a newspaper based in Rome, and when he was told he could not, he allegedly hurled one Roman bust to the floor.
As he ran off, with staff in pursuit, he knocked down another, both outlets reported.
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"The busts were affixed to shelves with a nail but if you pull them down with force they will come off," Director of the Press Office for Vatican Museums Matteo Alessandrini told CNN. "The two busts have been damaged but not particularly badly. One lost part of a nose and an ear, the head of the other came off the pedestal."
At about 2,000 years old, the busts are thought to be secondary works of art, rather than famous works, Il Messaggero reported.
Natalie Neysa Alund covers trending news for USA TODAY. Reach her at email@example.com and follow her on Twitter @nataliealund.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: American tourist trying to see pope smashes two sculptures at Vatican