The mania for taking selfies has “completely destroyed” a life-sized statue of Dom Sebastian, at Lisbon’s Rossio Station yesterday.
A young man, purportedly from the north of Portugal, climbed the 126-year-old piece in order to take what he presumably thought would be a novel photo of himself on holiday in Lisbon.
According to reports, the 24-year-old took quite a risk with his own safety – climbing at least two metres before hanging on to the statue for said selfie.
“The head was the first thing to fall to the floor”, writes national tabloid Correio da Manhã.
It hit the calçadas below and “was reduced to dust”.
The rest then fell into various chunks that “shocked people passing by”.
Infraestruturas de Portugal (IP) has said it will be lodging a claim for criminal damage while an estimate is sought for the statue’s repair.
“The vandal”, as CM has called the luckless would-be photographer, “has been identified and the case is now with the Public Ministry”.
Said a source for IP, the statue was “secure and in a good state of conservation”. It had stood at the station – “considered one of the most beautiful in the world” – since 1890, says CM, adding that a replica exists in the nearby Chiado Museum.