Milan Cathedral in Piazza del Duomo
The Duomo's Cathedral in Milan has sustained minor damage after being hit by a consumer drone being flown by touristsReuters

Three South Korean tourists have been questioned by police after losing control of their consumer drone, which crashed into the iconic Milan Cathedral on Monday 22 June.

The men, aged 35, 39 and 42, were flying the drone near the roof of the 45m tall Gothic cathedral, which is the fifth largest in the world and took almost six centuries to complete.

Staff from the Veneranda Fabbrica, an organisation tasked with maintaining the cathedral, were concerned when they saw the drone and called the police, according to Italian newspaper The Local.

The police arrived at the Piazza del Duomo square just in time to watch the men lose control of the drone, which crashed into a construction cable very near to the famous baroque gilded bronze statue of Madonnina adorning the cathedral's tallest spire.

Luckily the drone's impact was not enough to sever the cable, but it did become unhooked, causing minor damage to the Cathedral.

Should tourists be allowed to fly drones near monuments?

The men admitted during questioning by the police that they had had been filming aerial shots of Milan to add to their presentation, which was to be given at the Korean pavilion of the ongoing Milan Expo.

It is still not known whether the tourists will face charges, as the police are still trying to work out whether any laws about filming in Milan and using a remote controlled device have been broken.

In May, a DJI Phantom drone being used to record footage of a Memorial Day parade in Massachusetts, US, slammed into a toy shop and hit two bystanders. As both bystanders declined medical treatment and were only superficially injured, and the drone operator was very apologetic, local police did not press charges against him.

However in the UK, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has taken action against Nigel Wilson, a man who flew a UAV over a number of royal palaces and several Premiere League football grounds.

He has been charged under the Air Navigation Order 2009, which states that aircraft cannot be flown through congested areas without permission.