Missouri Tourist Snaps Finger Off Priceless Statue in Florence, Italy (UPDATE)

Sailko, Wikimedia Commons
The statue before it was damaged.
Update: Heave a sigh of relief, Missouri! Turns out this idiot wasn't one of ours after all.

Missouri is Awesome? Not in the eyes of the international art history community.

An unidentified 55-year-old man from Missouri is making international news this week after he damaged a priceless statue in a museum in Florence, Italy.

The man was visiting the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo (Museum of the Works of the Cathedral) with his family when he felt compelled to touch the 600-year-old work of art. A museum guard attempted to intervene, but it was too late.

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According to multiple reports in the Italian press, the man was either trying to "high five" the statue or "measure" its extended pinky finger because...??? Daily RFT's favorite description of the event comes from a rather poor Google translation of an article from Corriere Fiorentino:

The guy in the guard room, incredulous, just guessed what he was doing the U.S.

Yes, we're all guilty of doing the U.S. from time to time, but this guy really stepped in it. According to the same report, he tried to casually exit the room but was stopped by guards and reported to the local police. He will likely be responsible for the cost of repairing the artifact.

ANSA screengrab
Pinky's off.

Luckily for everyone involved, the finger was actually not an original part of the artwork, but rather a plaster restoration.

A useful reminder to us all -- whether close to home or acting as an ambassador for the Show-Me State abroad, when in a museum keep your Hoosier hands to yourself.

Update: Contrary to reports from the Italian media, it turns out the finger snappin', toe tappin' tourist is not from Missouri. He's actually a surgeon named Patrick Broderick from New Fairfield, Connecticut, according to the UK's Daily Mail. He was arrested after breaking the statue's hand, but was not charged and may not even have to pay for the damage.

Follow Jessica Lussenhop on Twitter at @Lussenpop. E-mail the author at

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Casey Kohler
Casey Kohler

I like the part where it says, 'Keep your Hoosier hands to yourself." You people should all take note of this, you greasy fucking rednecks. lol

Kelli C Raven
Kelli C Raven

What evidence was there that he was from Missouri, if it was so quickly refuted and updated? The journalistic integrity of this "newspaper" has really dropped a long way since I started picking it up. No longer do I pick up the free paper, and from today onward, no longer do I subscribe to this facebook page, either.

Snow Smith
Snow Smith

The part of the statue he broke was not even an ORIGINAL part of the statue. It had been previously broken, and was a plaster "restoration", which explains why it broke so easily this time.

Dustin Triplett
Dustin Triplett

Good to see he wasn't one of ours after all. Unfortunately, we still have our fair share of idiots.

Jessica Graye Porcelli
Jessica Graye Porcelli

Look at the was a DOCTOR from CT. Dumbass, probably more money than brains...

Susan Wolters
Susan Wolters

Why did they think he was from Missouri? And why would ANYone touch a piece of artwork? (And this guy was an MD? Surely he was educated enough to realize touching artwork was a no-no?)

JamesMadison topcommenter

Many news articles cited Missouri. Just another rush to report, rather than get the facts straight. When will journalists be held to the atrocities in reporting? the media is powerful force, and misinformation travels fast. Corrections never seem to catch up with the lies.

 Add to that, read the various comments associated with other news articles claiming Missourians are all alike, yet they never would say such of NYC or LA. Journalists add to this stereotyping. I think the journalists enjoy spreading rumors rather than facts.


@Kelli C Raven Did you read the article and update? "Contrary to reports from the Italian media, it turns out the finger snappin', toe tappin' tourist is not from Missouri."

So it would appear Italian media would be the evidence you're looking for.

JamesMadison topcommenter

@MattyMO_314 , and the US media just accepted the reports without any fact finding. Repeat rumors = RFT and many others.

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