Tourist fined £16k for carving initial on Rome's Colosseum

Russian man arrested for carving letter 'K' on Colosseum wall

Tourist fined £16k for carving initial on Rome's Colosseum

A Russian tourist has been fined €20,000 (£15,800) for carving his initial into the Colosseum in Rome.

The 42-year-old tourist reportedly used a stone to carve the 10-inch letter 'K' into a wall inside the amphitheatre, and was caught in the act by a guard.

He was arrested and given the hefty fine, as well as a four-month suspended prison sentence.

According to the Guardian, the director of the Colosseum, Rossella Rea, said the fine was justified as the visitor had damaged "a magnificent and symbolic monument".

She added: "You cannot write on a historic wall, it's absolutely forbidden."

The Daily Telegraph reports that union leaders in Rome have urged authorities to hire more security personnel to monitor the city's tourist buildings.

Rea denied acts of vandalism were becoming more commonplace, noting that there has only been a handful of other incidents reported this year at the Colosseum, out of the six million people who visit the site every year.

According to the Daily Mail, this was the fifth act of vandalism recorded at the Colosseum this year, with the others being an Australian father and son, aged 45 and 12, who wrote their names on a wall, and two teenagers, one Canadian who tried to steal a brick, and a Brazilian prosecuted for similar offences.

According to Wikipedia, the Colosseum is an elliptical amphitheatre in the centre of the city of Rome.

Built of concrete and stone, it was the largest amphitheatre of the Roman Empire, and is considered one of the greatest works of Roman architecture and engineering, as well as beingthe largest amphitheatre in the world.

Construction began under the emperor Vespasian in 70 AD, and was completed in 80 AD under his successor and heir Titus.

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