Man who 'carved girlfriend's name' into Rome's Colosseum is a British tourist
| Last updated
The man who 'carved girlfriend's name' into Rome's Colosseum has been identified a British tourist.
The bloke went viral after footage of him seemingly etching what appears to be 'Ivan + Hayley 23' into one of the bricks of the protected Unesco World Heritage Site made its rounds across social media.
After realising he's been spotted, the carver swings around and looks at the camera, before laughing at Lutz who comments: "Are you serious man? That's f**ked up. Stupid a**hole."
Italian Culture Minister Gennaro Sangiuliano said: "This act was offensive to everyone around the world who appreciates the value of archaeology, monuments and history."
Italian officials are now trying to locate the pair who are believed to have left Italy but are still holidaying elsewhere in the continent.
"It is just the man who is accused of scratching his name into the Colosseum, she is not part of the investigation," a Carabinieri officer told The Telegraph.
"We will find them through the normal channels of international police cooperation and there will be a trial."
The man could face a fine of up to €15,000 (£12,850) and a prison sentence of up to five years if he is convicted for defacing the historical monument under Italian laws.
The Carabinieri also explained that the couple had been identified 'through traditional investigations and photographic comparisons the person accused of etching their name and that of his girlfriend on the walls of the Colosseum' according to their official statement.
The police said they were 'a couple who are resident in England'.
Sangiuliano has since congratulated the police for identifying the man: "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."
The minister added that the government will be tightening their laws on those who are now found guilty of damaging or defacing the country’s historical and cultural heritage sites.
He resolved: "Those who cause damage will pay."