An American smashed ancient statues in Israel: they suspect that he was overcome by Jerusalem syndrome - ForumDaily
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An American smashed ancient statues in Israel: they suspect he was overcome by Jerusalem syndrome

An American has been arrested in Israel on suspicion of “deliberately damaging” valuable sculptures at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. Writes about this CNN.

Photo: IStock

The unidentified 40-year-old man was arrested after police received a tip from security at a museum in Jerusalem.

According to the Jerusalem Post, two ancient Roman sculptures dating back to the XNUMXnd century AD were damaged.

Israeli police said: “Late on October 5, Jerusalem police received a report from Israel Museum security personnel about a visitor who had deliberately destroyed sculptures of significant value, causing significant damage.”

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The suspect, a US citizen, was taken for questioning to the Moriah station in the Israeli capital.

The police statement said: "During the initial investigation, it was determined that the suspect committed this act because he believed the sculptures were 'idolatrous' and contrary to the Torah."

However, the man's lawyer denied that he was acting on fundamentalist religious beliefs because he suffers from a mental disorder.

On October 6, the suspect appeared in court, where judges extended his detention until October 9 while the police investigation continues.

The man's lawyer, Nick Kaufman, asked that his client's name not be disclosed. The magistrate rejected the request but deferred a decision on whether to name him until the morning of 8 October.

Kaufman said: “The suspect was not acting out of iconoclastic fanaticism. "His actions leading up to the incident and general demeanor suggest that he is suffering from a well-known condition known as Jerusalem syndrome."

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“With the consent of the suspect and the consent of the police, he was sent for a psychiatric examination with the expectation that on October 9 he would be released from pre-trial detention,” the lawyer explained.

Jerusalem syndrome is a rare condition in which tourists are so overwhelmed by the history and power of the city that they become detached from reality and believe themselves to be biblical figures.

The incident occurred during the week-long holiday of Sukkot and just days after Israeli police arrested five people on suspicion of spitting near Christians or churches in Jerusalem's Old City.

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