One Russian tourist got fined $25,000 for carving his initials in the Roman Colosseum. The notorious Coliseum has been hosting all sorts of public spectacles ever since 70-80 AD – from gladiatorial contests and animal hunts to dramatic theatrical performances and music concerts. The amphitheater is one of the many ancient monuments in Rome, Italy, and it’s a popular tourist destination. One particular tourist, however, decided to commemorate his visit of the Coliseum in the worst possible way – he decided to vandalize the building.
In 2014 the Italian government funded a $35 million restoration process for the iconic structure. Unfortunately, they also had to arrest 5 people, who tried to deface the building. One of the 5 law-breaching vandals was a 42 year old Russian tourist. Instead of just taking a selfie in front of the Coliseum like any other normal tourist would do, he decided to engrave the memory of the visit by carving his initials on the building. He used a rock as his tool of trade and managed to carve a 10-inch long letter “K” on the building’s brick. Fortunately, a security guard caught the man red-handed and detained him before he was able to do even further damage to the ancient monument. The Russian tourist was arrested and charged with defacing the ancient amphitheater. He received a $25,000 fine as well as a 4 year jail sentence for his actions.
Unfortunately, his deed managed to cut out part of the brick surface of the Coliseum and it jeopardized the further renovation. The carving compromised the conservation and the image of the amphitheater. Fortunately, the hefty fine will be a lesson for any other vandals thinking of carving their names or initials on the building.