Vandal damages Santa Maria Maggiore church in Rome
Homeless man attacks bronze doors with a rock19 December, 14:02
The vandal climbed over two railings and attacked the basilica's bronze doors with a rock, knocking off six saintly badges and "seriously" damaging a bas-relief portrayal of the Annunciation to the Virgin Mary, church sources said on Monday.
Police are said to have arrested a Romanian homeless man and Vatican gendarmes are also investigating, since the church, although across the city from the Holy See and close to Termini rail station, is a Vatican 'extraterritorial' site.
Experts from Rome's art heritage superintendency said the damage ran into thousands of euros.
"It's serious damage, quantifiable in a few thousand euros," they said.
One of the fences the man climbed over was a couple of metres high and the other six metres high, police said.