This is why there's a "Do Not Touch" sign.

National Watch and Clock Museum
Credit: Justin Grimes via

We all know the feeling of wanting to get up close to a masterpiece in a museum, but one man’s eager curiosity led to the demise of rare piece of art.

The not-so-gentle-man was visiting the National Watch and Clock Museum in Columbia, Pennsylvania, when he began taking photos of a particular clock. He was so enthralled with the timepiece he began to poke and prod it, despite signs saying not to. What happened next was inevitable: the clock came crashing down and smashed into many pieces.

Staffers watched in horror on a surveillance video and later posted the clip on YouTube.

“This is why we beg and plead with our visitors to please refrain from touching objects in museums,” they wrote alongside the minute and half long video.

“The couple did notify Museum staff immediately. The NAWCC Museum houses the largest collection of clocks and watches in America and is appreciative of concerned queries regarding the recent unfortunate damage sustained to a clock. Your donations help ensure the long-term survival of these timekeeping treasures.”

Lucky for the man, the museum is not pressing charges and the clock can be fixed. After repairs it will soon join the 1,500 other clocks on display.