- Private security at the Roman Colosseum arrested a tourist who had his name engraved on a pillar in an ancient structure, CNN reported.
- The tourist, identified as a 32-year-old visiting from Ireland, used metal dots to write his first and last initials on the building’s first floor.
- In Italy, vandalizing a historic or artistic building is a crime that can result in a prison sentence of up to one year or a minimum fine of $ 2,400 (€ 2,065), according to CNN.
- A tourist caught engraving letters on a Colosseum wall in 2014 was fined more than $ 23,000 (€ 20,000) and sentenced to four months in prison.
- Visit the Insider homepage for more stories.
Private security at the Rome Colosseum on Monday arrested a tourist who was carving his first and last initials on the pillars of the 2,000-year-old building. CNN reported.
Italian Carabinieri Police told CNN that the Colosseum security team identified the tourist as a 32-year-old male visiting from Ireland.
The tourist, whose name has not been released, used metal dots to carve his initials about 2 inches high above the pillar on the first floor of the Colosseum. Carabinieri police told CNN that the visitor was accused of vandalizing historical and artistic landmarks.
In Italy, vandalizing a historical or artistic building is a crime that can result in a prison sentence of up to one year or a minimum fine of $ 2,400 (€ 2,065).
Representatives of the Italian Ministry of Culture and Tourism, which oversees the preservation of arts and cultural sites and properties, did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider.
“Carving someone’s initials, apart from being considered a crime, seems to be a signal for those who want to customize the monument. Better take a selfie first!” archaeologist Federica Rinaldi told CNN about the Roman amphitheater.
The Colosseum reopened to tourists on June 1 after being temporarily closed for three months due to the coronavirus pandemic.
This is not the first time visitors to the Colosseum have written their initials or names on ancient walls
Monday’s incident at the Colosseum is not the first occurrence of a tourist writing on the walls of the Roman amphitheater, which is UNESCO World Heritage Site.
For example, in 2017, a Colosseum tour guide reported a visitor from Ecuador to the police after seeing them engrave the names of their son and wife, as well as the year “2017”, on the monument’s wall, according to Associated Press.
In 2015, two tourists from California were arrested by police after they carved their initials on the wall in the amphitheater and took selfies of the inscription. The Guardian reports. A year earlier, a tourist from Russia was sentenced to four months in prison and a fine of more than $ 23,000 (€ 20,000) after engraving a letter to the Colosseum, according to the Guardian.
Other historical sites and Italian museums have been vandalized by tourists
The most recent example occurred in August, when an Austrian tourist in Italy’s Museo Antonio Canova sat on a statue of “Paolina Borghese as Venus Victrix” to take a photo and broke two toes from the monument, according to a post on the museum’s official Facebook page.
Artnet News said the tourist tried to take a selfie while sitting on sculptor Antonio Canova’s neoclassical plaster “Paolina Borghese as Venus Victrix” at the museum in Possagno, which is more than an hour outside Venice.
Monica Humphries from insiders reported on it The tourist, whose name was not released to the public, apologized to the museum for damage.
In recent years, officials in Italy’s popular tourist town in Italy have imposed fines and regulations in a bid to control unwanted tourism behavior. In 2019, officials in Rome began imposing a $ 450 fine for each tourist sitting on the iconic Spanish Steps, which rose to prominence in the 1953 film “Roman Holiday” starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck.
Tourists from outside Rome are known to gather on the stairs to eat and sit, however the locals didn’t seem to like the crowds that would cover the stairs, which was built in the 1720s.
Officials in Rome also extended the ban on sitting, gathering, eating and drinking to other famous tourist spots in the city, including those that are popular. Trevi Fountain.
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