A man was arrested late last night for destroying four Buddhist statues, one of which was a Significant Cultural Property.
According to news station NHK World, the vandal was a 31-year-old graduate student at Keio University and a national of Saudi Arabia. Police received calls on Wednesday night with reports of a “foreigner behaving violently” around Sensoji Temple in the Asakusa area of Tokyo. When police arrived, they found four broken statues: three of them were made of stone, and one, designated as a Significant Cultural Property, was a 200 cm bronze that is approximately 300 years old.
After being arrested, the man admitted to the crime and said that he had committed a similar attack in another temple; police are currently investigating the student’s report.
According to Ahram Online, moderate Saudis have “condemned the actions of the Saudi citizen” as intolerant and disrespectful.
Sensoji Temple, located in Taito Ward, is one of the more recognizable tourist destinations in Tokyo.
Sensoji Temple, Asakusa, Buddhist statues
Main Image: Screen capture from YouTube