Thierry Lalande, the museum's ancient scientific instruments curator, said that the pendulum's brass bob had been badly damaged in three places and could not be restored.
"It's not a loss, because the pendulum is still there, but it's a failure because we were unable to protect it," he said. The circumstances surrounding the accident have raised eyebrows in France.
The museum regularly hosts cocktail parties in the chapel that houses the pendulum, and Mr Lalande admitted that several alarming incidents had occurred over the past year. In May 2009, for example, a partygoer grabbed the 28kg instrument and swung it into a security barrier.
And you thought Americans were uncultured drunkards.