Irish tourist climbs iconic lion statue in Brussels, causes nearly 15 lakh in damages

An Irish tourist has been arrested by police after he was caught on camera damaging a newly restored lion statue at the Brussels Stock Exchange. The estimated cost of the damage it caused is a whopping $19,000 (or over 15 lakh rupees). The tourist is expected to pay for the damage he caused to the statue, Nieuwsblad reported.

This photo shows the stock exchange building in the center of Brussels. (AFP)

The incident happened when a tourist, allegedly under the influence of alcohol, decided to take a picture while sitting on the back of the statue. This statue consisted of a lion and a man holding a torch. However, as he tried to get off, the torch broke off, the New York Post reported.

The incident happened only a day after the ceremonial opening of the newly renovated building. Nel Vandevennet, project manager, said the building and statues are on the heritage list, reports VRT NWS.

“We would like to carry out the repairs quickly, but it will certainly take several weeks or even months. The entire building has just been restored to its former glory, including the two lions, which were in poor condition,” quoted VRT NWS Nel Vandevennet.

The newly renovated Stock Exchange building celebrated its grand re-opening on Saturday, only to be faced with this unfortunate incident the following Sunday evening.

This, however, is not the first time that a tourist has damaged the iconic location. Previously, a tourist scratched the wall of the Colosseum in Rome and carved the names of himself and his girlfriend. After authorities caught him, he shared a letter of apology and said he only realized the monument was so old after the incident. Read more about the incident and the apology letter he shared here.

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