An Irish tourist was accused of vandalism after security staff spotted him allegedly carving his initials into the ancient structure of Colosseum in Rome, Italy. According to a CNN report, the Carabinieri police said the 32-year-old was caught in the act by the Colosseum’s private security earlier last week, and was immediately reported.
The outlet further reports that the man’s two initials — approximately 6 centimetres high — were said to have been carved on a pillar of the first floor of the 2,000-year-old monument (which is considered one of the seven wonders of the modern world, and a World Heritage Site) using a metal point.
The accused man remains unnamed. If convicted, he could face a hefty penalty. In fact, the crime is said to be punishable with up to one year in prison or a fine of no less than 2,065 euros (Rs 1,76,587.20).
“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, who is responsible for the ancient Roman amphitheater, was quoted as saying.
But, this is not an isolated incident of vandalism. In 2014, a Russian tourist was fined heavily for carving the alphabet ‘K’ on a section of brickwork, the outlet mentions. “Carving one’s initials, in addition to being a crime, seems to be a gesture of those who want to appropriate the monument. Better take a selfie,” Rinaldi told CNN.
The monument is considered to be the pride of Italy, with many tourists from around the world visiting it every year. It is also believed to be the largest amphitheater in the world, whose construction began sometime between 70 and 72 CE. Back in its time, it is said to have accommodated some 50,000 spectators who would watch gladiators combat each other.
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