A Swiss Teen Was Caught Carving Her Name Into the Colosseum, in Yet Another Case of Vandalism at the Amphitheater

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A teenage girl from Switzerland vandalized the Colosseum on Friday just weeks after another tourist carved a love note to his girlfriend onto a wall at the famed 1,951-year-old amphitheater.

The Swiss teen, who has not been identified, was on vacation with her family when she began carving her name into a wall, according to local news agency ADN Kronos, which first reported the alleged vandalism on July 15.

The teen girl was caught by an Italian tour guide who notified security at the Colosseum, Italian news agency ANSA reported. The news agency obtained video of the teen about to carve her name.

Italy’s Carabinieri police force was called, according to ADN Kronos. Artnet News has reached out to the Carabinieri for more information.

The girl could face a prison sentence and a fine of about $16,854, the news outlets reported.

Last month, 27-year-old Ivan Dimitrov, a Bulgarian national living in the United Kingdom, was filmed etching “Ivan + Hayley ’23” into a wall of the Colosseum.

Dimitrov looks up at one point, sees he’s being filmed, and smiles as the person recording calls him an “asshole” as he walks away.

In 2014, a 42-year-old Russian tourist was caught carving the letter “K” onto a wall of the Colosseum and was hit with a four-month suspended prison sentence and a fine of about $22,460.

Italy’s Culture Minister Gennaro Sangiuliano condemned Dimitrov’s alleged vandalism but has not yet commented on the latest incident.

“I consider it extremely serious, undignified and a sign of great incivility that a tourist would deface one of the most famous places in the world, the Colosseum, to carve his girlfriend’s name,” Sangiuliano said in a tweet, translated from Italian.

“I hope that whoever carried out this act will be identified and sanctioned according to our laws.”

In April, Sangiuliano announced that the country’s Council of Ministers, the executive arm of the country’s government, approved a law that would impose fines beginning at around $11,221 and going as high as about $67,328 for those who vandalize art and cultural sites.

“Attacks on monuments and art sites produce economic damage to the community,” Sangiuliano said in a statement at the time.

“Cleaning up requires the intervention of highly specialized personnel and the use of very expensive machinery. Those who carry out these acts must also assume financial responsibility.

 

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