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Penny Pitching Tradition Chips Away At Historical Sculpture In Sacramento

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SACRAMENTO (CBS SF) — Let the finger-pointing begin — lawmakers and lobbyists honoring a tradition at California’s Capitol may have made a million dollar mistake.

The custom of throwing pennies in Sacramento’s rotunda likely left a historic statue with only nine fingers sometime Saturday morning.

The million dollar marble sculpture showing Christopher Columbus asking queen Isabella for money has been on the first floor of the rotunda for 131 years.

Legend has it if lawmakers, their staff or lobbyists throw a coin into the queen’s crown from the second floor, it guarantees the governor will sign their bill.

But the damage carries a huge consequence and whoever did it faces a felony charge.

“We think that a coin hit it and broke the finger off,” said California State Capitol Museum Volunteer Bill White. “Throwing heavy, metal objects at a million dollar-plus statue is just really not something that ought to be happening.”

Capitol police found the finger near the statue, which will have to be reattached.

It’s still unclear how much that will cost, or will pay for the digit damage.

Capitol police admit they’ll have a tough time putting their finger on who did it. This is the third time the historic state treasure has lost a finger.

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