arts

Priceless Roman statue loses thumb in run-in with waiter

Published 28th October 2016
Thankfully the Townley Venus' thumb was later restored.
Credit: Trustees of the British Museum
Priceless Roman statue loses thumb in run-in with waiter
Written by Alison Daye, CNN
Picture it. You're part of a catering team, called in to serve at a corporate event at a prestigious museum.
In an unfortunate twist of events, you have an accidental run-in with a priceless Roman statue, knocking the right thumb clean off. Cue the looks of horror.
It's the last thing you'd wish for, but that's exactly what happened to a hapless waiter in an incident that happened last December at the British Museum, but only came to light recently.
The Townley Venus is a work of beauty. The marble statue representing the Roman mythological goddess of love stands almost 7 feet tall and is "adapted from a lost Greek original of the 4th century BC," according to the British Museum website.
Trustees of the British Museum
Last December a caterer was working a little too close to the Venus statue. The caterer bumped into the figure and the thumb on the right hand broke off and fell to the floor, according to The Art Newspaper.
"This was an unfortunate incident," the British Museum said in a statement. 'The preservation of the collection is of fundamental importance to the British Museum. Our expert conservators have been able to fully restore the object and it has remained on public display. We have taken the incident seriously and have retrained all individuals responsible for events."
It's not the first time priceless art has been victim to mishap. An accidental trip caused damage to a $1.5 million painting in Taipei last year.