Watch this viral video of a tourist defacing Rome’s historic Colosseum

By Mason Berlinka

Published Jun 27, 2023 at 01:01 PM

Reading time: 1 minute

Have you ever found yourself standing in front of a historic monument and thought: “You know what this ancient building that has managed to stand the test of time needs? Some personalised graffiti from me.” Yeah, I didn’t think so. Unfortunately, not everyone seems to operate with the same level of common sense as one mysterious grinning tourist recently vandalised a section of the historical Colosseum in Rome—a tourist hot spot that attracts over six million visitors a year.

The carefree tourist, whose identity is currently unknown, can be seen in the following video trying to impress his partner by carving “Ivan + Hayley 23” into the bricks of the 1,937-year-old Colosseum with his keys while a concerned bystander films the moment.

Upon realising he’s being filmed, the vandal, clad in a blue shirt and shorts, boasts a wide grin before continuing with his masterpiece. He won’t be smiling when he realises the fine he’ll face once his identity is revealed and the consequences from Italy’s highly protective government are laid bare.

If caught, the mystery tourist could face a €20,000 fine as a result of the defacement. Italy’s Minister of Culture Gennaro Sangiuliano said in a statement: “I consider it very serious, unworthy and a sign of great incivility that a tourist defaces one of the most famous places in the world, a historical heritage such as the Colosseum, to engrave the name of his fiancée.”

Users on Reddit shared their outrage at the incident, with one poster saying that it’s just “common sense to not damage sites like that.”

Comment
byu/thoxo from discussion
iniamatotalpieceofshit

Another commenter implored the Italian government to inflict the perpetrator with an even stricter fine in the hopes that it would deter others from committing similar acts of stupidity on ancient monuments.

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byu/thoxo from discussion
iniamatotalpieceofshit

This is far from the first time an incident like this has occurred. In 2014, a Russian tourist was fined €20,000 for carving the letter “K” into a section of a heritage site’s brickwork. Two American women were later arrested in 2015 for the exact same reason.

It’s a shame that the tourist, whose name we can assume is Ivan, remained uncaught in the act. But hopefully, the video aids in the Italian government’s investigation into those who seek to deface ancient monuments with short- sighted expressions of love.

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