A Russian tourist was slapped with a $30,000 fine for engraving a big letter “K” on the outside of the Colosseum in Italy. The 42-year-old man was given a summary judgment of the fine and a suspended four year jail sentence.
The tourist was spotted using a pointed stone to carve the letter which was 25cm tall. Union leaders have been complaining about the lack of personnel needed to monitor one of Rome’s most important historical archaeological sites. Visitors have been defacing and vandalizing the site for centuries, with a peak during the reign of fascism in the 20th century.
This was the 5th incident by foreign tourists this year.
From the Guardian:
The director of the Colosseum, Rossella Rea, said the €20,000 fine was justified as the visitor had damaged “a magnificent and symbolic monument”. “You cannot write on a historic wall, it’s absolutely forbidden,” she said.
Rea also argued that modern vandals are nothing like the graffiti that has been preserved since ancient times, when visitors to the colosseum would depict famous gladiators of the day. “There are beautiful designs, which are historic and very important,” Rea said.
One tourist quoted in the Guardian said that putting a sign up that says how much the fee for defacing the site is would probably be enough to deter any future vandals.
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