More tourists caught defacing Rome’s ancient Colosseum | CNN



CNN

Two more tourists have been caught apparently defacing the Colosseum in Rome, following a similar incident in June.

On Friday, a 17-year-old girl from Switzerland was spotted apparently carving her initials into a wall of the building by a tourist guide, a spokesperson for the local military police force, the Carabinieri of the Province of Rome, told CNN on Monday. The guide called security at the site, who then alerted the Carabinieri.

The very next day, a 17-year-old student from Germany was caught allegedly doing something similar. This time, a security guard spotted the teen and reported him to the Carabinieri.

Both teenagers risk a fine of up to €15,000 ($16,850) and up to five years in jail.

This is the same punishment potentially faced by a 27-year-old British tourist who was filmed apparently carving his name into the wall of the ancient arena last month.

The man, Ivan Dimitrov, later sent a letter of apology to the local prosecutor’s office, according to his defense lawyer.

“I admit with the deepest embarrassment that only after what regrettably happened, I learned of the antiquity of the monument,” the alleged perpetrator wrote in his letter to the prosecutor, his lawyer, Alexandro Maria Tirelli, told CNN.

Dimitrov allegedly scratched “Ivan+Hayley 23” into the wall of the Colosseum, representing his and his girlfriend’s names.

Following the release of the video, Italy’s culture minister, Gennaro Sangiuliano, called for the perpetrator to be “sanctioned according to our laws” in a tweet.

“I consider it very serious, unworthy and a sign of great incivility that a tourist defaces one of the most famous places in the world, a historical heritage (site) such as the Colosseum, to carve the name of his fiancée,” he said.

A similar incident also occurred in 2020, when security staff spotted an Irish tourist allegedly carving his initials into the ancient structure and reported him to the police.

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