Irish tourist, 32, arrested ‘for carving his initials into the Colosseum in Rome’

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An Irish tourist has been arrested for allegedly carving his initials into the Colosseum in Rome.

The Carabinieri police said a 32-year-old man was caught by the Colosseum’s private security and immediately reported to officers. 

The man’s two initials, about 6 centimeters (2 inches) high, were said to have been carved with a metal point on a pillar of the first floor on Monday.

The Carabinieri police said the 32-year-old man was caught by the Colosseum's private security and immediately reported to officers

The Carabinieri police said the 32-year-old man was caught by the Colosseum’s private security and immediately reported to officers

The unnamed man is accused of damaging a historical and artistic landmark, according to CNN, a crime according to Italian law.  

If he is convicted he could be punished with up to one year in prison or a fine of no less than 2,065 euros ($2,400). 

Archaeologist Federica Rinaldi, responsible for the ancient Roman amphitheater, said people who carve their initials into the monument want to ‘appropriate’ it. 

He added: ‘The Colosseum, like any monument that represents the history of all of us, must be preserved and handed over to future generations.’

The Colosseum, considered one of the seven wonders of the modern world, is a World Heritage Site.

This is along with 54 other Italian sites that comprise the city’s historic centre.    

The man's two initials, about 6 centimeters (2 inches) high, were said to have been carved with a metal point on a pillar of the first floor on Monday

The man’s two initials, about 6 centimeters (2 inches) high, were said to have been carved with a metal point on a pillar of the first floor on Monday

This is not the first time tourists have been fined for vandalising what is believed to be the world’s largest amphitheatre.  

A Russian tourist was fined 20,000 euros in 2014 for carving the letter ‘K’ on a section of brickwork.

Construction on the Colosseum began sometime between 70 and 72 CE and seated around 50,000 spectators.

They came to watch gladiators in combat with each other and dangerous animals, including lions.

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