Spanish tourist dies at Renaissance basilica

FLORENCE - A Spanish tourist has been killed by a piece of stone that fell from the top of the Basilica of Holy Cross in Florence. Calls to 118 and to the municipal police had no effect, although the relief staff attempted to resuscitate the man for a lengthy period of time.

 The 52 year-old, touring the church with his wife, was hit on the head by the masonry which detached twenty feet up. The piece of stone is known as ‘peduccio,’ a support structure that held up the wooden beams of the basilica. This church is one of the most famous in Florence; Michelangelo, Galileo Galilei and Niccolò Machiavelli are buried there.

 One of the superintendent technicians on the scene has stated that “there are no reports of criticality” for the area of the basilica, and that the whole area is “subjected to periodic checks.” The church has subsequently been closed to visitors.