Some tourists checking out the Colosseum, Source: Depositphotos

Colosseum authorities threaten bad tourists with jail

Colosseum authorities threaten bad tourists with jail

This summer, there has been a slew of scratching and graffiti attacks by visitors to the ancient monument

After recent reports of various tourists carving their names on the ancient walls of the Colosseum in Rome, the management of the site have had enough. The official website of the archaeological park has published a notice warning disrespectful visitors about the sanctions they will suffer if caught damaging the surfaces of the arena.

The message to wannabe graffiti artists and vandals states the following (translated from Italian):

Anyone who writes on walls, damages, destroys, disperses or deteriorates the archaeological and monumental heritage in the Colosseum Archeological Park will be punished with imprisonment from 2 to 5 years and with a fine from 2,500 to 15,000 euros.”

In addition to the Colosseum, the archaeological park also includes the Roman Forum, Palatine Hill and Domus Aurea. 

Carving on the Colosseum – the summer’s new stupid fad

The reason behind the hard tone taken by the management of the popular cultural site was the spate of recent incidents where irresponsible tourists were filmed scratching or writing things on the walls of the 2,000-year-old Roman stadium.

First, it was a 27-year-old Bulgarian man residing in the UK, who shot to viral infamy after being caught red-handed carving his and his girlfriend’s name on the wall.

Eventually, he was identified and now faces the possibility of being taken to court, even though he apologized with a letter stating a rather naïve justification approach. According to him, he wasn’t aware that the site was so ancient.

Sadly, and paradoxically, rather than discouraging future vandal acts, his example seems to have served as an inspiration to others seeking to immortalize their tags on a protected site.

Last week, two youngsters, a 17-year-old girl from Switzerland and a 17-year-old German student, were caught on two different days carving their initials on the walls.

Italy’s cultural minister Gennaro Sangiuliano has described such violations as examples of “incivility” on the part of the tourists.



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