Irish Tourist Arrested for Vandalising the 2,000-Year-Old Colosseum in Rome

The iconic colosseum | Image credit: Reuters

The iconic colosseum | Image credit: Reuters

An Irish tourist was caught carving his initials into the pillars of the Colosseum in Rome.

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  • Last Updated: September 26, 2020, 6:34 PM IST


An Irish tourist has been arrested for one of the most common activities at heritage sites in India. The 32-year-old man was accused of vandalizing Rome’s most famous tourist place, the Colosseum. Security staff spotted him as he allegedly carved his name onto the legendary structure’s façade.

Colosseum’s private security caught him in the act and later the accused was handed-off to the Carabinieri police. He used a pointed metal object to carve his initials. The offensive mark was about 6 centimetres in height, defacing a pillar on the first floor of the 2,000-year-old monument.

The identity of the accused remains hidden. He has been charged with damage to a historical and artistic landmark, according to CNN. The crime is not taken lightly in Italian law. If convicted, he’d have to pay a hefty penalty for it. Under the Italian lawbook, the crime can cost him up to one year on prison or a minimum fine of 2,065 Euros, around Rs 1.7 lakh This is, however, a minimum amount, it can go higher depending on the judgment.

“The Colosseum, like any monument that represents the history of all of us, must be preserved and handed over to future generations,” archaeologist Federica Rinaldi, responsible for the ancient Roman amphitheater, told CNN.

The Colosseum security is always on the lookout for vandals. In 2014, a Russian tourist, was charged with a heavy penalty of 20,000 euros (around Rs 17 lakh) for etching a single alphabet “K” on the brickwork.

The Colosseum is one of the world’s seven wonders is also a world heritage site. In its heyday, it seated 50,000 spectators as they gathered to view gladiator fights thousands of years ago.

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