Famous Roman Bernini landmark vandalized

Some complete…. jerk… busted one of the tusks off the delightful Bernini elephant in Rome near the Pantheon, in front of S. M. sopra Minerva.  HERE

In the Rome of Our pontificate, this person would have things broken off of him during prime time!

I can’t tell you – with the vocabulary I would choose off the blog – of what I think of vandals like this.

The Deep Cinders of Hell my not be deep enough.   At least during Our pontificate they wouldn’t be.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Going Ballistic and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Ellen says:

    I still remember the shock I felt when the Pieta was vandalized. I hope this is repaired soon. My cynical and paranoid self says that someone was mad at the election and committed the vandalism because the elephant is the symbol of the Republican party.

  2. Felipe says:

    I’m surprised he wasn’t caught, or was he?

  3. Benedict Joseph says:

    But as heartbreaking as it is, it is analogous of other far more serious acts of vandalism transpiring in the Eternal City.

  4. Supertradmum says:

    We are living in the Age of Barbarians, or, if you will, the Age of the Uglies…who are rude and hate beauty….Such a lovely piece…such blind hatred of art.

  5. ce lathrop says:

    So maybe all the treasures the Latins stole from Constaninople should be returned to the Orthodox Church? I mean, if we’re inveighing against vandalism….

  6. Huber says:

    If I’m not mistaken, that is Hanno, pet elephant of Pope Leo X.

  7. AvantiBev says:

    Not that Bernini wasn’t a creative genius but his work pales beside God’s.

  8. Muv says:

    Fr Z, It is too early to say whether this was in fact an act of vandalism.

    I have checked the text of the article you linked to. The investigation is still at the stage of searching for witnesses and obtaining CCTV footage from adjacent premises to establish whether or not the statue was tampered with. Indeed a local official is quoted as follows “…stiamo ricostruendo la dinamica di quanto accaduto per capire se si sia trattato di un atto vandalico.”

    I have had a good squint at the photo you reproduce. There is dark staining at the lower edge of the break. This would be consistent with water collecting in the groove between the tusk and the trunk, and dripping off the tusk at the site of the break. My guess is that a over time a crack had developed at this point, and a sharp drop in temperature overnight did the damage. The timing appears to be borne out by the temperature graph on this page.

    So you might not need to cuss anyone after all.

  9. Tony Phillips says:

    It could have been the earthquake. Let’s not start blaming rogue cardinals or something until all the facts are in.

  10. Andrew says:

    Why would anyone want to hurt “il Pulcino della Minerva”?

  11. pseudomodo says:

    Judging by the color of the right tusk, it looks like they will then match, after the left one is repaired.

  12. bobk says:

    Vandals in Rome? A tradition going back to 455.

  13. robtbrown says:

    Quoting our newest Nobel Laureate:

    The pump don’t work ’cause the vandals took the handles

Comments are closed.