Man climbs Rome’s Colosseum and threatens to jump

Emergency services had to coax a man down from the Colosseum on Tuesday afternoon, after he clambered up to the second level and threatened to jump.

Man climbs Rome's Colosseum and threatens to jump
A man climbed up the Colosseum on Tuesday in an apparent protest. File photo: Laurent Emmanuel/AFP

Firefighters used a ladder to approach the man, who spent around an hour on a narrow ledge on the outside of the ancient amphitheatre before being persuaded to climb safely inside.

His motives were unclear, but reports said it appeared to be some kind of protest rather than a suicide attempt.

Videos showed the man pacing and shouting while a crowd of onlookers gathered below.

According to some reports, the man is a tour guide who recently lost his licence. But others said he was calling for the right to operate food and drink trucks near Rome's historic monuments, after the city council threatened to crack down.

Firefighters had laid out inflatable mattresses to break the man's fall in case they were unable to persuade him to descend.

The Colosseum, which with 4 million visitors a year is one of Italy's biggest tourist sites, remained open on Tuesday afternoon.

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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.