– Falling masonry in Florence church kills tourist
A falling masonry in one of Florence’s most famous churches, the Basilica di Santa Croce, has killed a 52-year-old tourist from Spain
The recent accident in the church where Michelangelo, Galileo Galilei and Niccolo Machiavelli are buried has raised concerns about the state of many Italy aging structures.
speaking from New York, the country’s culture minister, Dario Franceschini, said prosecutors would conduct an investigation to determine whether faulty maintenance was to blame.
The victim was struck by a piece of decorative stone that fell from a height of 20 metres (66ft) as he visited the church with his wife. According to Italian media reports, the fragment was about 15cm x 15cm (6in x 6in).
The 15th-century basilica, which has a famed neo-gothic facade, has been undergoing years of maintenance in collaboration with Italy’s civil protection agency, Irena Sanesi, the head of the organisation that manages the church, told the Italian news agency Ansa.
As at news time, police have closed the Santa Croce basilica.A church representative said she was “stunned” and “distraught”, and offered condolences to the victim’s family.
It is the main Franciscan church in the city and a major tourist site.