Jerusalem: Israel’s leading museum said yesterday that a young visitor accidentally bumped into a display case and broke an ancient glass artifact, but later changed its account and said the cause of the mishap was unclear.

The museum official Ran Lior initially said a girl inadvertently broke the artifact but declined to identify her.

The item, a gold-glass base of a 4th century Roman funerary vessel, broke along a previously repaired crack.

He said yesterday that the museum has restored the item and returned it to the display.

The artifact includes a Latin inscription and a depiction of a Christian couple with their children. It is one of some 300 ancient Roman and Near Eastern artifacts donated to the museum this year by Robert and Renee Belfer.

The artifacts are on public display for the first time. Lior declined to discuss the “poor girl” who broke the artifact this week.