Connecticut surgeon identified as man who snapped finger off statue in Florence

Dylan Stableford
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The statue with the broken finger

A museum official points to the statue's broken finger. (Umberto Visintini/Opera del Duomo)

The American tourist who accidentally snapped the pinky finger off a 600-year-old statue while visiting a museum in Italy has been identified as a hospital surgeon from Connecticut.

The Daily Mail reports that Patrick Broderick, a 55-year-old emergency room doctor from New Fairfield, Conn., was attempting to compare his finger with the one on a marble sculpture of the Virgin Mary at the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo in Florence when the statue's finger broke off.

Broderick's office at Danbury Hospital did not immediately return a voicemail seeking comment.

Security guards say they spotted Broderick touching the statue, believed to be from the 14th or 15th century, but were unable to stop him.

Broderick, who was visiting Florence with his wife and two children, was arrested, taken into custody for questioning and then released, the Daily Mail said.

“In a globalized world like ours, the fundamental rules for visiting a museum have been forgotten," museum head Timothy Verdon told MSN U.K. "That is, ‘Do not touch the works.’”

The museum, though, said it did not intend to press charges.

It's unclear how much repairs to the statue would cost, though "it is a fairly simple restoration," the museum told the Daily News.

It's also apparently not the first time the statue, thought to be the work of medieval sculptor Giovanni D’Ambrogio, had been damaged.

"This was already a very fragile piece of art," Ambra Nepi, head of communications for the museum, told ABC News. "But every year throughout the Duomo we have many items that are damaged and broken."