Selfie Seekers Smash Statue

CREMONA, ITALY -- An unfortunate incident took place in this northern Italian city over the weekend, involving the 'Statue of the Two Hercules' (circa 1700), when a priceless statue was accidentally smashed by two selfie-seeking tourists.

Art collectors of Art Kabinett social media network are sick and tired of seeing selfish selfie-takers poising in front of every artwork on public display.

The marble statue is of the city's coat of arms held by two figures of Hercules, and considered a symbol of the city, as the demigod is said to have founded Cremona.

The sculpture was originally displayed above the city gates -- which were demolished in 1910. Since 1962, the piece has been located under the portico of Loggie dei Militi, which is a historic 1292 building that formerly housed the city militia.

Late Friday night, the pair of tourists accidentally broke the work while taking a photo with it, knocking off a portion of the statue's crown, which shattered on the ground.

The never-ending pursuit of the perfect 'selfie' has, it would seem, caused havoc in Cremona. The two perpetrators have reportedly been identified by authorities, but it is not yet known if charges will be brought against the individuals.

This is not the first time that Italian art has fallen victim to the act of selfie-taking.

Previously, a student broke a 19th-century cast of an ancient Greek work at Milan's Academy of Fine Arts of Brera when he tried to hop in its lap for a photograph.

Rioting Dutch football fans also recently damaged Bernini's Fontana della Barcaccia, while snapping pictures at the foot of Rome's Spanish steps.

In April a Japanese woman was charged by police after she wrote her name and date on the dome of the Florence Cathedral. She used an eyeliner pencil on the marble, but it did not cause any permanent damage.

A month before that incident two women from California were arrested for carving their initials into the Colosseum in Rome. After carving the eight-inch high letters, the women posed for a selfie.

In 2013, an American tourist upset locals when he accidentally snapped the finger off a 600-year-old statue of the Virgin Mary at Museo dell'Opera del Duomo (Museum of the Works of the Cathedral) in Florence. The 55-year-old man, from New Fairfield, Connecticut, was attempting to compare his finger to one on the statue when the digit broke off.

Reportedly, experts are being brought in this week to access the damages to the Hercules, and determine whether or not the piece can be repaired.