A man has officially been identified in the search for a tourist that defaced the Colosseum in Rome by carving names into a brick wall at the historical landmark.
Italy’s Culture Minister, Gennaro Sangiuliano, took to social media on Thursday to report that the Italian police (the Carabinieri) had “identified the person presumed to be responsible for the uncivilized and absurd act committed at the Colosseum.”
2/2 Ora auspico che la giustizia faccia il suo corso applicando rigorosamente le leggi. Se si arriverà a un processo il Ministero della Cultura si costituirà parte civile.
#vandalo #sfregio #Colosseo @ParcoColosseo— Gennaro Sangiuliano (@g_sangiuliano) June 29, 2023
Sangiuliano called the incident an “act that has offended all those throughout the world who appreciate the value of archaeology, monuments, and history” in a translated Tweet and noted that there was a possibility that the case could go to trial.
The man has not been publicly named, but it was confirmed by NBC that he is from the U.K. and was a tourist who was identified through “traditional investigations and photographic comparison.”
The vandalism went viral earlier this week after a video of the man carving “Ivan+Hayley 23” started making its rounds on the internet, with the man etching the stone smiling after realizing he was being filmed.
“People who cause damage must pay,” the Italian police told CNN in a statement.
The original video was posted on Reddit by a California man named Ryan Lutz who said he was “pretty upset” when he saw the man taking what appeared to be keys to the wall of the building.
Idiot tourist engraves the name of his girlfriend with keys on the Colosseum, Rome. He is facing a 18.000€ fine. As a Roman, I wish they would ban him from Rome forever.
by u/thoxo in iamatotalpieceofshit
“You always hate to see any tourist doing that … You kind of hold out hope that they’re not American,” he said.
If found guilty, the man could be fined up to roughly $15,000 or be sentenced to five years in prison.