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OFF BEAT: Student's selfie leads to statue of limitations


The rise of the “selfie” has been blamed for many things — including a reported increase in head lice infestations among teenagers — and now one student's desire to take a selfie with a Greco-Roman statue could have left an Italian museum facing a large insurance claim.

A selfie — selected as the Oxford Dictionaries' word of the year for 2013 — is defined as a “photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.”

Security guards at the Academy of Fine Arts of Brera in Milan, Italy, were surprised to discover CCTV footage of a visitor sitting in the lap of the statue and taking a photograph before the statue's plaster leg cracked, fell to the floor and shattered.

Luckily for the hapless student, who has not been named, the statue was a 19th century copy of a Greco-Roman work of art, originally produced in the late third or early second century B.C. and known as the Drunken Satyr, rather than the real thing.

The statue that was damaged was reportedly on its way to being restored for Expo 2015, the world fair to be held next year in Milan.