Toddler burnt by scorching sculpture

PUBLISHED: 09:00 25 June 2014




WARNING signs have been attached to a sculpture in Portishead after its scorching hot surface burnt the palms of a young child.

Vittorio Mochi had to have the skin surgically removed from the palms of both hands following the incident at the town’s marina.

The toddler, aged 23 months, was walking along the marina with his mum, Virginia, and two siblings, when he touched the Viaggio sculpture, which is made from steel and had become dangerously hot in the direct sunlight.

Virginia, aged 42 from Thornbury, said: “As we walked past, Vittorio put his hands on the lower part of the structure and started to cry immediately.

“He had burnt his hands very badly.

“I ran to get some help and the owner of Café Gosh gave me some fresh water, ice and also offered some first aid help.

“We then immediately went to Bristol children’s hospital.

“After a consultation, the surgeon decided to remove the skin and gave him some morphine.

“It was really painful and traumatic for Vittorio.

“The doctor said it was fortunate we put his hands in water and ice straight away because burns in children can affect the bones and tissue further down.”

The incident happened on June 1 but Vittorio still has dressings on both hands due to the fact the wounds are still not fully healed.

As well as physically, Virginia says the incident has also affected Vittorio psychologically, making him fearful of touching play area equipment.

The Viaggio sculpture was designed by artist, Louise Plant, and was installed in Portishead in 2009 as part of a public art trail.

It is now under the ownership of developer, Persimmon Homes, and caution signs have since been put up which warn people its surface can get hot in prolonged sunlight.

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