The Italian government is actively seeking to identify and punish a tourist who defaced the renowned Colosseum in Rome by carving his name on one of its walls. A fellow tourist captured a video of a young man using a key to etch "Ivan + Hayley 23" onto a brick wall within the historic Roman amphitheater. When questioned about his actions, the man remained silent but smiled at the camera, while a young woman stood by his side.
The video, filmed by American tourist Ryan Lutz, has garnered over 175,000 views on YouTube and has been widely shared on platforms like Twitter and other social media networks. According to the Daily Mail, the young man has been identified as a 27-year-old Bulgarian-born resident of Bristol, England.
Italy's culture minister, Gennaro Sangiuliano, expressed serious concern over the incident, stating that damaging the Colosseum is a grave offense. Sangiuliano took to Twitter, emphasizing the importance of apprehending the responsible individual and subjecting them to legal consequences in accordance with Italian law.
Tourism minister Daniela Santanche echoed Sangiuliano's sentiment, tweeting that it is crucial to uphold respect for Italy's history and culture. She further emphasized that visitors to their country should not feel entitled to behave in such a manner.
Ryan Lutz informed ABC7 that he reported the carving incident to a security guard at the Colosseum. However, the guard claimed he was unable to take action since he did not witness the actual act of wall defacement.
If apprehended, the tourist in question could face imprisonment for up to five years and a fine exceeding $16,000, as reported by ANSA. The police are currently investigating this incident, which marks the fourth reported case of Colosseum damage this year.
The Colosseum, constructed approximately 2,000 years ago, served as a venue for gladiatorial games—brutal contests where individuals were compelled to fight each other or animals with weapons. Over the centuries, numerous people have left their marks by carving their names into the Colosseum's walls, despite the historical significance of this ancient structure, which could accommodate up to 80,000 spectators.
What are your country's most visited historical sites? Have you been to them?
2. Do you prefer to visit popular attractions or less touristy areas when you travel?
3. Are there any historical sites you visited that didn't meet your expectations?
4. Have you had any unpleasant experiences while traveling abroad?
5. What advice would you give to a first-time visitor to your country?