Brit who 'carved girlfriend's name' into Rome's Colosseum begs for forgiveness as he faces up to five years in jail
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A man accused of carving his girlfriend's name into the Colosseum has begged for forgiveness.
Ivan Dimitrov had been on a trip to the Eternal City when he allegedly carved his and his girlfriend's names into the nearly 2,000 year old roman structure.
A video posted to social media went viral, with many people outraged by the alleged act of vandalism. The video was titled 'A*****e tourist carves name in Colosseum in Rome 6-23-23', and received around 300,000 views online.
He could face a fine of up to €15,000 (£12,850), or as many as five years in jail, because the Colosseum is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Carabinieri later tracked the pair down in Bulgaria and identified them, and once they had spoken to Dimitrov, said that he expressed 'sincere remorse' for his alleged actions.
Major Roberto Martina of the Carabinieri said: “He told us he was very upset by what he had done, and he kept apologising for it,” Mr Martina told Mail Online.
“I think he was worried about the consequences of any trial and we explained that he could be jailed for between two and five years and be fined up to 15,000 Euro.”
He added: “He had contacted us after we secured his mobile telephone from hotel records and left a message for him to call us. He was naturally worried about the legal implications, and these were all explained to him.
“We didn’t ask him why he did it, that will be for a judge to hear, we just told him that he was a suspect and was part of the
They also clarified that Ms Hayley Bracey, the woman whose name Dimitrov carved in the historic building, 'is not part of any complaint so is an innocent party as far as we are concerned'.
Italian Minister of Culture, Gennaro Sangiuliano, said: "This act was offensive to everyone around the world who appreciates the value of archaeology, monuments and history.
"I am grateful to the Carabinieri for having swiftly identified the person who is alleged to be responsible for this act,
uncivilised as it was absurd, which was committed at the Colosseum.
"I hope that the justice system will now run its course and rigorously apply the law. Those who cause damage will pay."
This graffiti is actually just the latest in a very long line of people carving their names into old buildings. The Abu Simbel temple complex in Egypt features graffiti carved by Victorian tourists. French novelist Gustav Flaubert even expressed his irritation at 'the number of imbeciles names written everywhere', when he visited.
It seems people leaving graffiti and others getting annoyed is a tale as old as the monuments themselves.