Tourist Carves His Family's Names Onto the Colosseum
The 2,000-year-old amphitheater is a magnet for tourists and vandals alike.
Police in Rome have ticketed yet another tourist for vandalizing the Colosseum.
In this most recent incident, an Ecuadorian visitor to the nearly 2,000-year-old Roman amphitheater carved the names of his wife and child onto the ancient site, the Associated Press reported.
An official tour guide for the Colosseum spotted the defacement in progress and reported it to the local authorities. Fines for this type of vandalism have ranged, carrying up to a 20,000 euro fine, or approximately $21,000, according to AP. A judge has yet to hand down his sentence in this case.
"Rome deserves respect. Whoever harms the Colosseum, harms all Romans and all who love the city," Mayor Virginia Raggi wrote in a statement posted to Twitter.
The Colosseum is one of the most-visited attractions in the world, welcoming nearly 7 million people annually. It is an ancient Roman amphitheater that served as a center of entertainment starting in the first century.
Local residents would come to the Colosseum in particular to watch gladiators fight each other or wild animals to the death. The 2,000-year history of this structure, and in particular its violent displays, has long drawn people from around the world who want to learn about life under ancient Roman rule. Not all tourists are respectful history buffs, however, and vandalism is sadly frequent at this ancient site.
In February of this year a French tourist was arrested for carving her name into the Colosseum using an ancient coin she found. Two Brazilian men attempted to break into the Colosseum just one month earlier, with one man falling 13-feet and breaking his hip.
All of these incidents come after the Colosseum recently completed a three yearlong renovation. Authorities are reportedly considering creating a buffer-zone around the site to prevent future break-ins, the Telegraph reported.