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Tourist heavily fined for defacing Colosseum

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A Russian tourist has been slapped with a €20,000 fine after he was caught etching a letter into one of the ground-floor bricks of the historic Colosseum in Rome. This is the fifth tourist this year who has been caught damaging the ancient stadium.

The man used a sharp stone to carve the 25-cm-tall letter on a ground-floor brick wall on the south side of the monument but was caught in the act by a guard and arrested.

The next day the 42-year-old tourist received a suspended four-year jail sentence and now has three months to pay the fine whose severity is described as “justified” by the Colosseum director Rossella Rea.

The city’s archaeology superintendent Mariarosaria Barbera said the damage is “significant”, adding that the incision removed part of the surface as well as “compromising the conservation and image” of the ancient structure.

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