15 Priceless Objects Destroyed by Dumb People

There are plenty of times where our klutziness costs us something dear to us. Hopefully it doesn’t happen to you very often, but we’ve all been there. The next time you break one of your favorite coffee mugs, or spill grease on your best dress shirt, take a look at this list and feel a little better about yourself.

Every single person on this list didn’t think before they acted, and their actions caused millions of dollars’ worth of damage to rare and treasured objects.

Priceless work of art destroyed by amateur restorer

In 2012, a well-meaning woman took it upon herself to try and restore a fresco in the Santuario de Misericordia chapel located in Borja, Spain. The fresco had originally been painted by famous Spanish artist Elias Garcia Martinez in the 19th century, but hadn’t aged well — the paint was peeling and cracking in large areas, and the only part of the painting that was still relatively untouched was Jesus’ face. The elderly amateur took it upon herself to basically repaint the fresco, turning the masterpiece into a work that any 5-year-old could have accomplished.

Elías García Martínez, Cecilia Giménez / Original and Monkey Jesus

Elías García Martínez, Cecilia Giménez / Original and Monkey Jesus

Pablo Picasso’s famous Le Rêve punctured by owner’s elbow 

In 2001, billionaire hotelier and casino owner Steve Wynn purchased Le Rêve — one of Pablo Picasso’s most famous works. It became the centerpiece of his art collection, which he had amassed over decades of collecting. He even named his latest Bellagio resort after the painting.

The painting remained the star of his collection until 2006, when Wynn accidentally put his elbow through it while showing it off to friends. It cost $90,000 to repair, and the incident devalued the painting considerably.


1,700-year-old statues destroyed by the Taliban

Afghanistan has a rich cultural heritage stretching back thousands of years, but when the Taliban came to power all that ceased to matter. In 2001, Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar ordered the destruction of all non-Islamic statues, which also included the famous Buddhas of Bamiyan — the world’s two largest standing Buddhas. They were dynamited in an effort to destroy all statues that depicted living things — an act only supported by the Taliban’s narrow definition of Islam.

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