Italy Finds Tourist Filmed Carving Names in Colosseum

Culture minister suggests UK man will be prosecuted for defacing monument
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 26, 2023 4:28 PM CDT
Updated Jun 30, 2023 12:22 AM CDT
Italy Hunts Tourist Filmed Carving Names in Colosseum
Cyclists pass the Colosseum in Rome during a race in May.   (Fabio Ferrari/LaPresse via AP)
UPDATE Jun 30, 2023 12:22 AM CDT

The tourist filmed carving the names of himself and his fiancee into Rome's Colosseum has been identified. Italy's culture minister did not identify him other than to say his name is, indeed, believed to be Ivan (which, along with "Haley," is what was carved into the ancient amphitheater) and that he is from the UK. He also suggested the case will go to trial, and said he hopes for justice to be served, CNN reports. The suspect could face a fine of at least $16,360 or as many as five years behind bars.

Jun 26, 2023 4:28 PM CDT

Italian authorities would like a word with Ivan and Haley, whoever they are. The nation's culture minister is calling for a man to be "identified and sanctioned" under the law after the tourist was filmed apparently carving his and his fiancée's names into the Colosseum in Rome, CNN reports. "I consider it very serious, unworthy and a sign of great incivility that a tourist defaces one of the most famous places in the world," Gennaro Sangiuliano tweeted on Monday.

The post included a blurry photo of the tourist and a video that seemed to show him carving a wall with keys. The inscription reads "Ivan+Haley 23," per the Italian news agency ANSA. In 2020, private security employees said they spotted an Irish tourist carving his initials into the almost 2,000-year-old amphitheater. At the time, the archaeologist responsible for the Colosseum told CNN that "carving one's initials, in addition to being a crime, seems to be a gesture of those who want to appropriate the monument." Federica Rinaldi suggested they take a selfie instead. (More Colosseum stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.