16 NOV 2016:  What kind of ignorant lout gets a thrill from destroying or desecrating a work of art or a historic site? Yet it happens frequently.  Famous works of art have been slashed, smashed, had paint and acid thrown on them and even intentionally vomited upon. Historic sites are defaced by painted or scratched graffiti, or worse, are damaged or broken.  In the latest piece of wanton destruction, police in Rome are investigating the apparent vandalism of the famed Elephant and Obelisk statue designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini in the Piazza della Minerva near the Pantheon in Rome.

Cultural authorities in Rome said that vandals overnight broke off the tip of the elephant's left tusk, which authorities recovered at the foot of the statue. Police were checking video in the area to identify the vandals.

The statue of an elephant carrying an obelisk on its back was commissioned by Pope Alexander VII. It was placed in the square in front of the Santa Maria Sopra Minevra Basilica in 1667.

Another Bernini statue, the La Barcaccia fountain at the bottom of the Spanish Steps in Rome, was vandalized by Dutch soccer fans in 2015.

Before it was incased behind glass the Mona Lisa had acid, paint and a ceramic cup thrown at it. Rembrandt’ Night Watch in the Rijksmuseum has been slashed twice and had acid sprayed on it and Pablo Picasso's "Woman in a Red Armchair," had gold paint splashed on it at a Houston museum.

Then there are those ‘artists’ who vandalize the work of other artists and either claim they are creating new art or commenting on art.
A Mark Rothko painting at the Tate Modern in London was vandalized by a man who claimed he was commenting on Modern Art, and  Ontario College of Art and design (OCAD) student,Jubal Brown, cleverly ate brightly coloured food and then puked on a Raoul Dufy at the Art Gallery of Ontario, and a Mondrian at the MOMA in New York.  He denied he was seeking publicity. 

Tourists have been fined or arrested from vandalizing everything from the Luxor Temple, to the stones at Easter Island, to Stonehenge, to the Colosseum in Rome, to the natural rock formations in US Parks to - unbelievably - the Auschwitz Museum.

One wonders why they don’t just stay home and scribble on their own walls or slash their own furniture.
vandals2Colosseum. Easter Island. US National Park. Luxor Temple




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Jen Savedra

Jen Savedra is the founder and editor in chief of Travel Industry Today with  a long career and considerable experience in various sectors of travel and tourism. She is dedicated to producing a publication that differentiates itself from the pack. One that pulls no punches, and - along with being a forum for news and ideas - is easy to navigate and always fun to read.

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