This morning I came across an interesting post at Ponte Commedia, which mentions some of the mishaps and damage that have occurred to Michelangelo's David.1 One particular event stood out to me in this post: the 1991 attack of the David by a disturbed artist, who broke off part of a toe with a hammer. This post instantly reminded me of another post from When Art History Goes Bad, which discusses the damage that has happened to Michelangelo's Pieta (including when Laszlo Toth infamously attacked the statue with a sledgehammer in 1972). If you're interested, you can see some footage of the attack and damage below:
I don't know of any other sculptor whose work has caused mentally disturbed people to attack it. (But if you know of similar attacks on other sculptures, please comment! I'd be interested to learn about them.) Does Michelangelo's work get the brunt of such attacks, since these sculptures are some of the most well-known pieces of art in the Western world? I think so. It's sad to think that Michelangelo's fame and artistic beauty have had such an adverse side effect.
1 You can read an amusing BBC article about some damage and restoration work on the David here.