An attempt at taking a 'clever' photo turned disastrous at a museum in England when a family put their child inside an ancient coffin and subsequently broke the priceless piece!
According to officials at the Prittlewell Priory Museum in the town of Southend, the incident occurred earlier this month during a weekend when the building was bustling with visitors.
Among those people were some patrons who seemingly sought something more memorable than what they could find in the museum gift shop.
They apparently found what they were looking for in the form of an 800-year-old sarcophagus that has been on display at the museum for nearly a century.
The family proceeded to hoist their young child over a plastic partition keeping patrons at bay so that the youngster could sit inside the ancient coffin for a photo.
The brazen move turned out to be as ill-conceived as it sounds as a piece of the centuries-old coffin subsequently fell over and a large chunk broke off of it.
As one might expect from a family crazy enough to pull a stunt like this, the guilty party quickly retrieved their child from the now-broken coffin and fled the scene without telling anyone what had happened.
Museum officials say that security footage captured the sad scene as it happened, but the family has yet to be identified.
Expressing deep dismay over the damaged piece, museum conservator Claire Reed told the BBC that they hope to repair the object.
Once it has been restored, she said, the coffin will be fully enclosed to avoid any similar mishaps which Reed concedes she had never conceived of before since, "you really don't expect people to try to get into the artifacts."
Source: BBC News