Italian police have said they believe the man filmed carving what appeared to be his name and his girlfriends name into the Colosseum is a tourist who lives in the United Kingdom.
The Italian Carabinieri said in a press statement on Thursday that the identification was made using photographic comparisons although they did not provide a name or possible whereabouts of the suspect.
The man was filmed committing the act of vandalism by an American tourist, Ryan Lutz, who posted the clip online after the Colosseum guards failed to act after the showed them the footage on his phone.
Italy’s Culture Minister Gennaro Sangiuliano said on Tuesday that; “It’s extremely disgraceful and a sign of great lack of culture that a tourist defaces one of the most famous places in the world, a piece of historical heritage,”. Minister Sangiuliano also expressed that the culprit would be found and punished.
The Colosseum is the largest amphitheatre in the world which is a land mark in Rome and a major tourist attraction. The Colosseum attracts more than a million visitors each year and there are strict rules about graffitiing at this historical site.
Unfortunately, graffiti is a continuous problem at the Colosseum with multiple incidents happening each year. The Italian authorities take a strict approach when tourists are caught vandalising the Colosseum and fines can be issued of more than £10,000 and up to five years in prison.
Whilst the Italian authorities have said they are intent to find the tourists presumably named Ivan and Hayley, they currently are still searching for the culprits.
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