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SOCCER

Footballer charged with defacing Colosseum

A Bulgarian international footballer has been charged with vandalism after carving his initials into Rome’s famous Colosseum with a coin.

Footballer charged with defacing Colosseum
Georgiev in action for Rubin Kazan. Photo: soccer.ru

Blagoy Georgiev, a 33 year-old midfielder with top Russian outfit Rubin Kazan, was visiting Rome as a tourist with his girlfriend, when he decided to leave his mark on the Colosseum by engraving his initials on a ground floor pillar with a coin, tgcom24 reported.

The football ace was caught in the act by security guards who notified the authorities, The police charged him with vandalizing the historic building and confiscated his coin.

The crime comes just days after a Lebanese tourist was caught doing exactly the same thing.

Penalties for damaging the priceless monument can be very heavy indeed. Last year a 42-year old Russian tourist was fined €20,000 after carving a large letter K into the wall of the Colosseum.

Such a fine was perhaps not heavy enough to put off the player who has been capped 50 times by his country and earned a reported €0.9 million in 2013.

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ROME

Body of missing American tourist found in Rome’s River Tiber

The body of a missing 21-year-old tourist was found in the River Tiber on Thursday morning, according to media reports.

Body of missing American tourist found in Rome's River Tiber

Elijah Oliphant, from Dallas, Texas, was on holiday with his family in Rome when he went missing several days ago.

Oliphant’s parents reported his disappearance after he left his hotel room shortly after midnight on May 24th and did not return.

Hotel security footage showed him leaving the premises wearing a white undershirt and pyjama bottoms, which he was wearing when he was found.

Oliphant’s corpse was reportedly spotted by passersby near the Ponte Sisto bridge in Rome’s Trastevere district around 10am on Thursday morning. His body was positively identified by his parents.

Members of the fire brigade and river police who recovered the body say there were no obvious signs of violence, but an autopsy will be conducted to determine the cause of death. Trastevere police are reportedly investigating the matter.

The Oliphant family had arrived in Rome for a holiday on May 23rd. When Elijah went missing the following day, his parents launched an urgent appeal to help find their son.

His disappearance was featured on the missing persons television show, Chi l’ha visto (‘Who’s seen them?’) on May 25th.

Several foreigners have been found drowned in the Tiber in recent years, though there are no indication that any of the incidents are linked.

In 2016, the body of 19-year-old American student Beau Solomon was recovered from the river.

Rough sleeper Massimo Galioto was charged involuntary manslaughter in the case, but was ultimately acquitted in 2020.

Prosecutors said that Galioto pushed Solomon in the course of a violent argument. Galioto’s defense team acknowledged that the two had argued but said the student had accidentally slipped.

In May 2019, 37-year-old Imen Chatbouri, a former athletics champion from Tunisia, was found dead in the Tiber after a night out. CCTV footage later showed she had been pushed from the Ponte Sisto bridge.

A then-26-year-old man whose advances she had rejected earlier that evening was convicted of her murder in November 2021.

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