4 May 2004
MADRID – A Spaniard who vandalised one of Madrid’s most famous statues was ordered to pay more than EUR 26,000 in fines Tuesday.
The 22-year-old, named as Rodrigo JL, broke the hand of the statue of classical goddess Cibeles during stag night celebrations in September 2002, a court was told.
He and five other men had stripped down to their underwear in Cibeles Square to bathe in the fountain.
But the left hand of the statue snapped off when Rodrigo tried to climb it.
The Madrid court heard that the six left the scene hurriedly by car after the statue broke, taking the hand with them.
After discussing what to do with it, they placed it in a recycling bin in the hope that it would be discovered.
Two days later, they telephoned the office of the newspaper El Mundo to report its location, but municipal police were unable to find it.
In the end, the Madrid city authorities had to commission a new hand for the 18th Century marble statue.
The men were caught after a witness who reported them to the police, Judge David Cubero told the court.
Judge Cubero accepted that Rodrigo had not intended to damage the statue. However, he had acted negligently and would face the maximum penalty allowed by law.
The other five men were acquitted, but Rodrigo was fined EUR 3,240 and ordered to pay EUR 23,198 in damages.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news