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Lebanese tourist carves initials into Colosseum

The Local Italy
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Lebanese tourist carves initials into Colosseum
A pillar at the Colosseum damaged by visitors over the years. Photo: Filippo Monteforte / AFP

A 22-year-old Lebanese tourist is in hot water after being caught red-handed vandalising the Colosseum.

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The young woman was spotted this weekend by Colosseum security guards carving the initials '“H.A'” into one of the iconic pillars of the Flavian Amphitheater with a coin, Il Messaggero reported. 

After being stopped by the guards, she was handed over to the police, who charged the vandal with malicious mischief.

Though shocking, is just the latest in a long list of similar cases. The Colosseum's fame seems to hold a particular appeal for many tourists who wish leave their mark on the ancient ruins without considering it to be an act of vandalism.

Just last August, a 25-year-old man and 26-year-old German woman were caught by security guards carving their whole names into the Colosseum with a coin. 

But it's not just people looking to leave their eternal mark that is damaging the Colloseum.

In March last year, a 15-year-old Canadian school girl removed a brick from the Flavian Amphitheater and tried to make off with it in her rucksack as a souvenir.

The penalties for damaging a priceless monument, not to mention a national symbol of Italy, can be very heavy indeed.

Visitors to Rome would do well to take heed the story of Akaev Kazbek, a 42-year-old Russian tourist who was sentenced to four months in jail and fined €20,000 after carving a large letter 'K' into a wall of the Colosseum.

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