A 24-year-old young man trying to take a self-portrait with the statue of a 16th century Portugese king accidentally destroyed the statue, media reports said.
The 126-year-old ornate art sculpture was a representation of Dom Sebastiao, a Portuguese king who was killed in 1578 at the “Battle of the Three Kings” in Morocco at age 24, mirror.co.uk reported on Monday.
The man, whom the police did not identify, accidentally toppled Sebastiao’s statue after climbing up to its pedestal outside the Rossio railway station in central Lisbon in order to capture a perfect shot.
Instead the 24-year-old managed to bump the item, sending it crashing to the ground and breaking into dozens of pieces.
The youngster tried to flee the scene but police caught him. He now awaits trial.
The statue – which was in perfect condition – had sat adorning the station entrance since June 11, 1890, Globo reported.
A spokesperson for Infrastructure Portugal did not know when it would be fixed, or returned to the site. However, he ruled out attaching it to the base using screws once it was reinstalled.
The protected monument depicted the sad-eyed, sword-wielding king between two horseshoe-shaped arches at the entrance to the station which was completed in 1890.
Dom Sebastiao, who ruled between 1557 and 1578, is a tragic figure in Portuguese history.
According to Portuguese folklore, Sebastiao’s body was never found and he could return any day to reclaim his throne and save Portugal in times of trouble.