10. Paolo Porpora's 'Flowers'
In August 2015, a 12-year-old Taiwanese boy tripped, ripping through a 350-year-old, $1.5-million painting by Paolo Porpora that was on display in Taipei.
The terrified boy won't be made to pay for restoration costs, as the exhibit was insured, but the painting will never be the same, and one can only imagine the poor child's utter terror as his hand went through the artwork.
9. The Luxor Temple
Everybody wants to leave a mark on the world, and countless teenaged vandals over the centuries have done it by carving their name somewhere—but not like this. Ding Jinhao, a 15-year-old Chinese tourist from Nanjing, carved his name right into the iconic 3,500-year-old hieroglyphics of the Luxor Temple.
Another Chinese tour group discovered the vandalism in May 2013, right after the Chinese government passed a law admonishing against tourist behavior that would embarrass the country.
8. Goblin Valley State Park
Goblin Valley State Park is named for its goblins or "hoodoos"—rock formations that look like enormous boulders sitting atop tiny perches. The rock itself is 170 million years old, and it took some 25 million years of erosion to carve the shapes as they appear today.
Boy Scout leaders Dave Hall, Glenn Taylor, and Dylan Taylor filmed themselves toppling one over, claiming it was a "safety hazard." The three men were kicked out for violating the Scouts' "Take only pictures, leave only footprints" precepts, and were given a year's worth of probation and fines.
7. Qing Dynasty Vases
This incident is the fault of the displayers as much as the person who caused the destruction. Qing dynasty vases, famed for their intricacy and beauty, are some of the most valuable artifacts in the world. Unfortunately, the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge kept three of them on an unprotected windowsill at the bottom of a staircase with no handrail.
Nick Flynn, a museum visitor, tripped over his own shoelace and tumbled down the stairs, smashing into $750,000 worth of 300-year-old pottery. The vases were restored, and the museum re-evaluated some of its policies about storing antiquities.
6. The Elgin Marbles
In 1801, Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin, obtained a permit to remove a significant number of sculptures from the Greek Parthenon. They've been the subject of roaring debate in the centuries hence, even after the British Museum purchased them from Elgin.
In 2005, a document released under the U.K.'s Freedom of Information Act revealed that the statues—which survived countless upheaval and marauders in their original location—had been damaged numerous times to theft, vandalism, and, in one instance in 1961, a schoolboy shoving another schoolboy into a centaur, breaking off a leg that has never been able to be fully restored.
5. Easter Island
In 2008, a Finnish tourist named Marko Kulju decided that he wanted a souvenir from Easter Island. Instead of picking up a kitschy shot glass like a regular person, he broke off the earlobe of one of the statues and pocketed one of the shattered pieces.
Kulju ultimately wound up paying $17,000 in fines and was banned from the island for three years, which seems a little light for deliberately wrecking one of the most iconic landmarks in the world.
4. Picasso's 'The Actor'
A woman who was visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art for a class was examining a painting by Picasso, lost her balance, and fell into it.
She made a six-inch tear at the corner, which was (fortunately) painstakingly restored in a process that involves re-weaving the torn threads of the canvas under a microscope.
3. Claude Monet's 'Argenteuil Basin with a Single Sailboat'
A $12 million Monet from 1874 was ripped in July of 2012 when Andrew Shannon strolled into the National Gallery of Ireland and put his fist through it. The question of whether he meant to do it quickly became bizarre. He claimed that he had a fainting spell due to heart trouble—and he did later have a quadruple bypass.
However, he also had paint stripper in his pocket, but that turned out to be for work. In the end, eyewitness testimony, CCTV footage, and 48 previous convictions (including handling stolen maps from the 17th century) added up to a six-year prison sentence.
2. Various U.S. National Parks
Casey Nocket came to national attention in October 2014 when reports of vandalism across eight national parks lined up with photos posted to her Instagram account. She defaced far too many places of natural beauty, and unlike urban and shared spaces, there's no easy way to clean up or paint over the acrylics that she laid down.
There's been little word on what's happened to her since she came clean a week after being discovered.
1. Hercules at Loggia dei Militi
Generally, selfies aren't nearly as bad as hand-wringing internet commentators make them out to be. Historically, they're actually much older than people think. Still, it's hard to deny at least one selfie was objectively awful.
In May of 2015, two tourists were arrested after climbing onto the marble statue of the two Hercules at Loggia dei Militi palace. The crown atop the 18th-century statue fell off under the weight of the two men, shattering when it hit the floor.