Teenage girl, 17, is second person to vandalise Rome’s ancient Colosseum in a month as she could face €15,000 fine

18 July 2023, 14:10 | Updated: 18 July 2023, 14:12

Another person has been caught vandalising the ancient amphitheatre.
Another person has been caught vandalising the ancient amphitheatre. Picture: Alamy/Youtube

By Jenny Medlicott

A Swiss teenager was caught carving her initial into the ancient amphitheatre in Rome just weeks after a British tourist faced Italian authorities for the same act of vandalism.

It makes the girl, 17, the second person in less than a month to have defaced the colosseum.

A local tour guide caught the Swiss resident carving the letter ’N’ into the landmark located in Rome’s city centre.

"It is the first time I have managed to film an act of vandalism at the Colosseum but in six years I have seen dozens, there are also those who rip off parts of the wall,” David Battaglino told Repubblica Roma.

“They even spat on me once for scolding a boy.”

Accompanied by her parents, the teenage girl is now allegedly being questioned by the Italian police, after Mr Battaglino reported the act to the Unesco World Heritage Site.

But according to Mr Battaglino, the girl’s parents were indifferent to her act of vandalism, as he claims they said: “She’s just a kid, she wasn’t doing anything wrong.”

That is despite the fact they could face a fine of up to €15,000 for defacing the landmark.

Read more: British tourist caught carving names into Rome Colosseum says he 'didn't know it was old' as he issues grovelling apology

Read more: British vandal begs authorities for forgiveness after being identified carving names into Rome's ancient Colosseum

Read more: Tourist caught carving 'Ivan + Hayley' into the wall of Colosseum lives in Britain, Italian police say

At the end of June, a video emerged online showing Ivan Dimitrov, 27, carving his name into the wall, as well as Hayley, his girlfriend's name into the walls of Rome's ancient Colosseum.

The video sparked fury online, and Italian officials vowed to find the vandal and punish him for the offence, which has landed culprits hefty fines in the past.

But Mr Dimitrov issued a desperate apology earlier this month, as he claimed ignorance, according to the MailOnline.

He wrote: "Aware of the seriousness of the committed act, with these lines, I wish to address my most heartfelt and honest apologies to the Italians and to the whole world for the damage caused to an asset which, in fact, is the heritage of all humanity.

"I admit with profound embarrassment that only after what regretfully happened did I learn of the antiquity of the monument.

"The council with dedication, care and sacrifice guards the inestimable historical and artistic value of the Colosseum."

Mr Dimitrov was caught scrawling the names into the stonework of the 1,937-year-old building.
Mr Dimitrov was caught scrawling the names into the stonework of the 1,937-year-old building. Picture: Youtube

But despite his attempt to resolve the matter, the authorities in Rome dismissed his apology as nonsense.

The video, shot by an American tourist called Ryan Lutz at the iconic Italian landmark, sees Mr Dimitrov scrawling the names into the stonework of the 1,937-year-old building.

Clutching a set of keys, the man cracks a smirk at the camera before returning to the wall and continuing to inscribe the names.

It was at least the fourth time this year that such graffiti was reported at the Colosseum, an act that carries fines of up to 15,000 US dollars and five years in prison.

An Irish tourist was arrested by the Carabinieri police force in September 2020 for allegedly carving his initials into the Colosseum in a similar incident.

Reported to police by the Colosseum's private security firm, the 32-year-old was caught inscribing his two initials into a pillar on the landmark's first floor.

Measuring about 2" high, the letters, inscribed using a metal point, saw the anonymous individual stand accused of damaging a historical and artistic landmark.

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