Skip to main content

Taking a selfie? Try not to destroy any statues while you're at it

selfie statue destruction screen shot 2016 05 09 at 5 32 51 pm
Image used with permission by copyright holder
History has been destroyed in the name of the selfie. In an attempt to take a photo of himself with a 126-year-old statue of a 16th-century Portuguese king, an overzealous 24-year-old actually climbed on top of the structure, thereby causing it to collapse and crumble, authorities say. This, literally, is why we can’t have nice things.

According to reports, the selfie enthusiast clambered onto the facade of the historic Rossio railway station in Lisbon, hoping to snap a selfie with the one-time king, Dom Sebastiao. Sadly, the freestanding sculpture, unaccustomed to unwanted advances from tourists, did not respond well to the photo opp, and fell to the ground, where it shattered.

Realizing his mistake, the 24-year-old, who has yet to be named by authorities, attempted to flee the scene. But alas, he was apprehended by nearby officers, and has a court date with a judge forthcoming. It is unclear as of yet as to what punishment he might face, and more importantly, when the statue might be fixed. 

The subject of the statue, Dom Sebastiao (Sebastian of Portugal), reigned briefly from 1557 to 1558, disappearing during the Battle of Alcácer Quibir in Morocco. The brevity of his rule combined with the mystery of his demise lent itself to his historical lionization — he’s now known as the “The Sleeping King” and immortalized in one of Lisbon’s main hubs. Of course, it’s unlikely that anyone expected his slumber to be disturbed in such an unceremonious manner.

This is by no means the first time that the selfie has catalyzed some serious destruction. In 2015, two women from California defaced Rome’s famed Colosseum by carving their initials into the walls with a coin. Because apparently, nothing is sacred anymore.

So the next time you’re trying to take a selfie, just try not to destroy any history while you’re at it.

Editors' Recommendations

Lulu Chang
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Fascinated by the effects of technology on human interaction, Lulu believes that if her parents can use your new app…
Uber is making drivers take selfies to prove they’re wearing face masks

Uber is not only insisting its drivers wear protective equipment as business starts to ramp up after two months of stay-at-home orders, the ridesharing giant is demanding proof.

Starting Monday, drivers and delivery people will be required to send a selfie to the company to show that they are wearing a face mask. Riders will also be required to wear a face mask, but will not have to verify their compliance.

Read more
Watch these Apple TV+ originals for free while you’re staying at home
Hailee Steinfeld in Dickinson

Apple TV+, Apple's streaming service, is making a selection of its original programs available for anyone to watch for free, to keep people entertained while they are stuck inside due to the global outbreak of coronavirus, officially called COVID-19.

Hailee Steinfeld in Dickinson Image used with permission by copyright holder

Read more
If you’re missing the office, this ingenious site has you covered
if you miss the office this ingenious site has covered noise generator

Missing your workplace? Of course you are. Lockdowns around the world have forced millions of people to swap their regular office for a home office. But, really, working from home isn’t quite the same.

For a start, the ambiance is completely different -- because your co-workers aren’t there. That may be a blessing for some, but for others, suddenly finding yourself all by yourself can feel a little, well, lonely.

Read more