Authorities Seek Tourist Accused Of Defacing Ancient Roman Landmark

A still of a tourist captured on video scratching a note 'Ivan + Hayley 23' on the wall of the Colosseum in Rome, Italy on Saturday June 23, 2023. [YouTube/Screenshot/Public —@rytz5873]

John Oyewale Contributor
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Italian authorities are on the hunt for a male tourist accused of etching a love note on the wall of the Colosseum, Reuters reported.

A video released Saturday on social media appeared to show the man scratching his and his girlfriend’s names — “Ivan + Hayley 23” — on the stone wall of the ancient amphitheater, according to the Reuters report. He then turned around and smiled at a camera, as the author of the video chided him using expletives, dubbing him a “stupid a**hole.”

Videos of the incident appeared on social media, which came to the attention of the Italian Carabinieri police force, according to ANSA. Italian authorities said the man risks at least a 15,000-euro fine and imprisonment for up to five years, the ANSA news report said. (RELATED: Man Sets Gas Station On Fire With Blowtorch)

Italy’s Culture Minister Gennaro Sangiuliano condemned the act of vandalism, stating on Twitter, “I consider it very serious, unworthy and a sign of great incivility that a tourist defaces one of the most famous places in the world, the Colosseum, to engrave the name of his fiancée. I hope that whoever did this will be identified and sanctioned according to our laws.”

Two young American tourists were charged with aggravated damage and heavily fined for carving their initials and a full name into the Colosseum’s wall and then taking a selfie of the etchings, despite selfie sticks being banned from the premises, in 2015, according to The Associated Press.