Battling Blaze in Venice, Firefighters Douse Titian Masterpiece

Battling Blaze in Venice, Firefighters Douse Titian Masterpiece

It is a dangerous world out there. Just days after a van Gogh was stolen from a Cairo museum, a work by Renaissance master Titian that is housed in the Santa Maria della Salute basilica in Venice was almost accidentally destroyed. The culprit this time? Italian firefighters attempting to quell a blaze in a nearby seminary.

According to the museum’s superintendent, Vittorio Sgarbi, the artist's "David and Goliath" was damaged when water from a high-pressure hose hit the exterior of the basilica and proceeded to seep down through the building's roof. Sgarbi assured the Associated Press that the other two Titian paintings displayed on the basilica's ceiling — "Abraham and Isaac" and "Cain and Abel" — received no damage, and that, according to preliminary tests, the harm done to "David and Goliath" is not serious.

The painting, which depicts the Biblical figure David praying beside thefreshly decapitated Goliath, has been removed for inspection and repair.