Retrial planned for man who broke $4.5M statue’s thumb

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Federal prosecutors plan to retry a Delaware man who admitted he broke a thumb off a $4.5 million statue at a Philadelphia museum.

Philly.com reports prosecutors told a judge Thursday they’re refiling charges against Michael Rohana for theft and concealment of an object of cultural heritage.

A jury deadlocked in the case last month after Rohana’s lawyer argued he hadn’t been charged under the right law.

Rohana was attending a Christmas-themed ugly sweater party at the Franklin Institute when he entered a closed exhibit of ancient Chinese terra cotta warrior statues. Authorities say Rohana snapped the thumb of a statute called “The Cavalryman” and left with it. The incident was captured by surveillance cameras.

Rohana told jurors it was a stupid, drunken mistake.

The vandalism outraged Chinese officials.

A message was left with Rohana’s lawyer seeking comment Thursday.

Copyright © 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up