17-year-old Swiss girl becomes second tourist to deface Rome’s Colosseum in a month
2023/07/17

When in Rome … another tourist has defaced the Colosseum.

A Swiss girl carved her initials into the iconic amphitheater — less than a month after another tourist stunningly defaced the ancient landmark with his and his fiancée's namesPolice have launched an investigation after Italian tour guide David Battaglino captured video of the unidentified 17-year-old girl carving the letter "N" into the wall, La Repubblica reported.

The footage posted on Twitter by Italian news agency ANSA shows the blond girl, whose face is blurred, using an object to carve the letter before she backs off amid the attention.

"It is the first time I have managed to film an act of vandalism at the Colosseum but in six years I have seen dozens," he told the local news outlet.

"There are also those who rip off parts of the wall. They even spat on me once for scolding a boy," Battaglino added.

​The guide said he kept talking to his tour group as he recorded the clueless teen defacing the Colosseum.

"After a few seconds, my group applauded me. To her, in English, I said, 'Do you want applause?' The young girl understood that she had ended up in the crosshairs of those who protect art and turned away to go toward her family," Battaglino told La Repubblica.

He said he told the girl's parents that what she had done was illegal and claimed they blew him off with a "gesture of annoyance," according to news outlet Italy24.

​"She's just a little girl, she wasn't doing anything wrong," the parents told him, according to La Repubblica.

Battaglino said he snapped a photo of the whole family and notified authorities, who questioned them at police headquarters.

The teen ​could face up to five years behind bars and a fine of up to 15,000 euros — almost $17,000 — for damaging cultural property, according to reports.

The incident comes on the heels of a similar act of vandalism at the site.

Ivan Dimitrov, a 27-year-old Bulgarian-born fitness trainer living in Bristol, England, was caught on video as he allegedly used a key to etch "Ivan + Hayley 23" into the 2,000-year-old UNESCO World Heritage site.

He later offered a bizarre apology to Mayor Roberto Gualtieri in which he begged for forgiveness and claimed he did not know how old the Colosseum, which was completed by Emperor Titus in 80 AD, was when he committed the act.

"It is with deep embarrassment that only after what regrettably happened did I learn of the antiquity of the monument," Dimitrov wrote. "Through these lines I would like to address my heartfelt and honest apologies to the Italians and to the whole world for the damage caused to an asset which, in fact, is the heritage of all humanity."

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