Doors and a historic portrait were damaged at the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome and a homeless man was arrested as a suspect, police said.
A vandal climbed over two railings, one about 19 feet high, damaged church doors with a rock, knocked off six "badges" of saints and seriously damaged a portrait of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary, ANSA reported Monday.
Police said the suspect is a Romanian.
"It's serious damage, quantifiable in a few thousand euros," an art heritage expert said.
The Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore is one of Rome's oldest churches. Although it is close to the Termini rail station and across the city from the Vatican, it is considered to be Vatican property.