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Tourist climbs iconic statue in Belgium and causes $19k in damages

Tourist climbs iconic statue in Belgium and causes $19k in damages

The statue had just undergone a three-year $150 million restoration

A tourist climbed an iconic statue in Belgium and ended up causing a staggering $19k in damages.

One holidaymaker has really made his mark on the European city after he was caught gallivanting on the lion statue at the Brussels Stock Exchange in Belgium on Sunday (10 September).

The man ended up breaking part of the cultural monument just one day after it had been reopened to the public following a three-year $150 million restoration.

The tourist, who was allegedly intoxicated at the time, can be seen attempting to ride the statue, which also features a man holding a torch.

Footage from the incident shows the tourist attempting to climb down the statue when one part of it - which is believed to the torch - crumbled off.

Shocked gasps from onlookers can be heard as the statue piece crashes to the ground.

Reports say the tourist in question was said to have been from Ireland, with project manager of the renovated Stock Exchange building, Nel Vandevennet, releasing a statement on the matter.

Vandevennet told VRT NWS: "On Sunday evening, an Irish tourist in a merry mood wanted to climb onto the lion in front of the Brussels Stock Exchange building.

"In the process, the man broke off a newly restored sculpture 'The hand with a torch'."

The project manager went on to reveal the repairs in question are 'going to cost a lot of money' as the work needed to fix the statue 'will have to be done by real craftsmen'.

Renovation project manager, Nel Vandevennet, said the statue repairs are 'going to cost a lot of money'.

"It is listed heritage and there will be follow-up from the monuments and landscapes agency of the Brussels region," Vandevennet added.

They concluded: "We would like to carry out the repairs quickly, but it will surely take a few weeks or even months. The whole building has only just been restored to its former glory, including the two lions which were in a bad way.

"We thought the sculptures would enjoy greater respect. We just think it’s very sad this happened."

The man was later arrested at a nearby fast food restaurant, local media reported.

According to Newstalk, a Brussels Police spokeswoman said: "An Irish tourist climbed onto one of the statues at the Brussels Stock Exchange building.

"Police arrived at the scene [and] a police report was drawn up against the tourist.

"When he wanted to get back down, he broke a piece of the statue."

Flemish newspaper Het Nieuwsblad has also reported that the restoration of the statue cost €17,600 which is just under $19,000 (approximately $18,750), and that they want the tourist to pay for the damages.

UNILAD has contacted Brussels Police for further comment.

Featured Image Credit: Twitter

Topics: Travel, World News, Money, Crime