Published On: Fri, Mar 8th, 2024

Italian city’s famous Romeo and Juliet statue ‘ruined’ by tourists groping her breast | World | News

Angered locals in Italy are wishing on a plague on the houses of tourists who have put a hole in the breast of a famous Romeo and Juliet statue by constantly rubbing her breast for luck in romance. The model of the iconic character from Shakespeare’s greatest play about love and loss has stood under a balcony in the courtyard of a house in Verona since 1972.

The 13th century building was home to a noble family, the del Cappellos, who local legend has it were the inspiration for the Bard’s fictional Capulet family, the Lord of which was Juliet’s father. 

But enthusiastic lovelorn visitors have caused a stir recently when it emerged a hole had appeared on Juliet’s breast spoiling the work of sculpture Nereo Costantini.

In fact the current model in the courtyard is actually a copy of Costantini’s 1969 original, and was placed there just ten years ago. 

According to Italian newspaper L’Arena, the damage is now a hole a few millimetres in size on the right breast. 

It reports the old bronze statue, which was removed in 2013, took 40 years to succumb to the “wear and tear and damage” that the “acidity of hand sweat” combined with “continuous physical pressure on the material” created.

After the old statue was removed to a museum questions are now being asked how the £12,800 copy has become damaged in less than a decade. 

In December a headteacher from a school in Tuscany criticised the breast-touching of Juliet as “sexist”

The Guardian reports  journalist Enrico Ferro wrote on the local news website, il Mattino di Padova, that “The damaged statue must be repaired, and there is little doubt about that”.

He added: “However, we also need to consider the future. Is it right to continue allowing tourists to touch Juliet’s breast? Or would it be perhaps more appropriate to accept the argument by the headteacher who judged it to be sexist?”

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