X

Tourist to Pay Big-Time Over Colosseum Vandalism

Russian man was caught in the act
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 24, 2014 1:47 AM CST

(Newser) – A Russian tourist has been hit with an eye-watering $25,000 fine for doing what visitors have done for thousands of years: leave their mark on Rome's Colosseum. The man was caught in the act of inscribing a 10-inch-tall letter "K" on a wall inside the ancient building, reports the Guardian. The amphitheater's director says the fine is justified because the man had damaged a "magnificent and symbolic monument." She says that out of 6 million visitors, only four other vandals have been caught this year: An Australian father and son, a Canadian teenager, and a Brazilian teenager.

story continues below

The "extraordinarily high" fine appears to be a new method of protecting the monument, a Rome-based archaeologist says. But people have been scrawling on the 2,000-year-old landmark since the days when crowds of up to 50,000 watched gladiators battle lions inside, National Geographic reported last year when the building was undergoing a face-lift. Clearing away grime revealed that large numbers of 19th-century tourists wrote their names on the Colosseum, and ancient Romans left behind plenty of images and messages, including a red palm frond with the letters "VIND," which archaeologists believe may have been part of the word vindicatio, meaning "vengeance." (Read more Colosseum stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
X