comscore 2 U.S. women face charges for vandalizing Colosseum | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Top News

2 U.S. women face charges for vandalizing Colosseum

Honolulu Star-Advertiser logo
Unlimited access to premium stories for as low as $12.95 /mo.
Get It Now
  • Associated Press / 2011
    The price of world travel for Americans this year has lowered as other countries’ economies falter. Tourists take pictures in front of Rome’s ancient Colosseum.

ROME » Two American tourists face charges for carving their names into the Colosseum, the latest act of vandalism sustained by the ancient monument at the hands of tourists, police said Monday.

The tourists from California, aged 21 and 25, were cited Saturday for carving their first names eight centimeters (three inches) high into an upper level of theColosseum, said Carabinieri Capt. Lorenzo Iacobone.

The two were freed on their own recognizance but will face charges for aggravated damage to a monument. Their names or hometowns were not released by police.

Iacobone said the young women apologized for the vandalism, but he said such acts "are extremely serious. No one considers the damage they are creating."

"They have carved their names into ancient stone. It is not like writing with a pen, and then afterward it can be cleaned up," he said.

A Russian tourist who carved his initials into the Colosseum in November was handed a four-month suspended sentence and a fine of $21,270 after opting for a speedy trial. It was the fifth such act of vandalism by tourists last year, including a Canadian tourist who tried to steal a piece of stone from the Colosseum hidden in his backpack.

Union leaders have complained about the lack of personnel to properly monitor Rome’s archaeological treasures — with increasing numbers of visitors seeking to leave their trace on antiquity, causing irreparable damage.

With thousands of tourists visiting the monument each day and many hidden corners, Iacobone said it was impossible to monitor everyone’s actions.

Comments have been disabled for this story...

Click here to see our full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak. Submit your coronavirus news tip.

Be the first to know
Get web push notifications from Star-Advertiser when the next breaking story happens — it's FREE! You just need a supported web browser.
Subscribe for this feature

Scroll Up