SHARE
COPY LINK

CRIME

US tourists fined €800 for breaking into Rome’s Colosseum to drink beer

A couple of US tourists who broke into Rome's Colosseum to enjoy a drink with a view have been hit with a hefty fine, police said.

A police car patrols outside the Colosseum in Rome.
Police were called to the Colosseum after the two American tourists were spotted by a passer-by. Photo: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP

The pair, aged 24 and 25, had climbed up to the second ring of the ancient gladiator arena at dawn on Monday, but were spotted by an early riser who alerted the police.

They admitted to having broken in “to drink a beer” in the early hours, and were given an 800 euro ($905) fine, a police spokesman told AFP, without providing any more details.

It was not clear how they had got into the 2,000-year-old structure, which closes to visitors at 4.30pm.

READ ALSO: Tourist lands in trouble after crashing drone inside Rome’s Colosseum

This was the latest in a long series of reports of tourists behaving badly at famous tourist sites in Rome.

Such incidents were more frequent before the pandemic, when the Colosseum was visited by around 25,000 people daily.

In 2017, two Brazilian tourists injured themselves while attempting to break into the Colosseum at night.

In the past, judges have come down hard on Colosseum vandals, with one Russian tourist fined €20,000 for carving a giant ‘K’ into one of the building’s pillars.

A bill approved in 2016 introduced the specific offence of defacing or damaging cultural heritage or landscapes, and increased the penalty to a maximum of five years’ imprisonment.

While graffiti is the biggest problem at the Colosseum, there have also been numerous cases of visitors attempting to steal bricks and other fragments of the building as souvenirs.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

CRIME

New York returns millions worth of stolen art to Italy

Prosecutors in New York on Tuesday returned dozens of antiquities stolen from Italy and valued at around $19 million, some of which were found in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

New York returns millions worth of stolen art to Italy

“These 58 pieces represent thousands of years of rich history, yet traffickers throughout Italy utilized looters to steal these items and to line their own pockets,” said Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, noting that it was the third such repatriation in nine months.

“For far too long, they have sat in museums, homes, and galleries that had no rightful claim to their ownership,” he said at a ceremony attended by Italian diplomats and law enforcement officials.

The stolen items had been sold to Michael Steinhardt, one of the world’s leading collectors of ancient art, the DA’s office said, adding that he had been slapped with a “first-of-its-kind lifetime ban on acquiring antiquities.”

READ ALSO

Among the recovered treasures, which in some cases were sold to “unwitting collectors and museums,” were a marble head of the Greek goddess Athena from 200 B.C.E. and a drinking cup dating back to 470 B.C.E, officials said.

The pieces were stolen at the behest of four men who “all led highly lucrative criminal enterprises – often in competition with one another – where they would use local looters to raid archaeological sites throughout Italy, many of which were insufficiently guarded,” the DA’s office said.

One of them, Pasquale Camera, was “a regional crime boss who organized thefts from museums and churches as early as the 1960s. He then began purchasing stolen artifacts from local looters and sold them to antiquities dealers,” it added.

It said that this year alone, the DA’s office has “returned nearly 300 antiquities valued at over $66 million to 12 countries.”

SHOW COMMENTS