Breaking News: Bernini’s Elephant Broken News from Rome reports that a vandal has defaced Gianlorenzo Bernini’s Elephant and Obelisk by breaking one of the marble mammal’s tusks.

Breaking News: Bernini’s Elephant Broken

News from Rome reports that a vandal has defaced Gianlorenzo Bernini’s Elephant and Obelisk by breaking one of the marble mammal’s tusks. Fortunately, the broken bit was recovered, and plans are underway to restore the sculpture as soon as possible. 

Commissioned in 1667 by Pope Alexander VII, Bernini’s Elephant and Obelisk has been a landmark in front of the façade of Rome’s Santa Maria Sopra Minerva for almost 350 years.  Thus, the damage to this sculpture is shocking to most, particularly as this is these second attack on a Bernini work in the last two years (his father Pietro’s sculptural fountain, La Barcaccia, in the Piazza di Spagna was vandalized in 2015 by riotous soccer fans). As Rome’s city council member, Nathalie Naim, commented to The Telegraph:

 “We owe it to future generations to look after these monuments,“ she said. “They don’t belong to us, we are only their guardians.”

The estimate cost of repairs for Bernini’s Elephant is between 1,500 and 2,500 euro. 


Further Reading: 
Chiara Palazzo and Agence France-Presse, “Rome in Shock as Bernini  elephant statue vandalized” (The Telegraph, 15 November 2016).

Lorenzo D’Albergo, “Sfregiata la statua dell’elefante in piazza della Minerva, Raggi: “L’immagine ferisce tutti” (La Repubblica, 15 November 2016). 

Images courtesy of The Telegraph. 

Posted by Alexis Culotta

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