According to Agence France Presse the Villa Medici in Rome which serves as the French Academy was visited on three separate occasions by vandals and thieves who made off with sculptures and lopped of heads of statues. The objects taken were a
Hellenistic Apollo from the second century BC… two marble torsos dating from imperial times, two carved marble heads from the Renaissance and two recent copies of antique heads.
The authorities were surprised by the brashness of the thieves as one of the heads was taken from just outside the office of director Eric de Chassey, said to be one of the busiest areas of the villa. De Chassey says that security measures have been taken, however he has no desire to turn the villa into a “fortress” as that would be contrary to its original charter promoting open academic and artistic exchange.
Further east in the Maldives, emirates247.com has reported that a mob forced its way into the Maldives National Museum which was built and financed by the Chinese government as part of a UNESCO project and presented to Maldives on 10 July 2010. The vandals are said to have smashed Buddhist statues and former president Mohamed Nasheed blamed the actions on Islamic radicals. An anonymous museum employee is quoted as saying, “I can tell you that the damage is very big.”