According to a report by Wanted in Rome, security personnel at the Colosseum immediately notified the Carabinieri, the national gendarmerie of Italy, of the 32-year-old tourist’s crime. The man reportedly carved his initials into the 2,000-year-old amphitheater with a metal point.
The tourist, whose identity has not been revealed, was charged with aggravated damage to assets of historical and cultural importance.
According to a report by CNN, the crime carries a penalty of up to one year in prison or a minimum fine of $2,400.
"The Colosseum, like any monument that represents the history of all of us, must be preserved and handed over to future generations," archeologist Federica Rinaldi, who is responsible for the building, told CNN.
“It is a monument that deserves everyone’s respect because it belongs to everyone, and it must remain so … Carving one’s initials, in addition to being a crime, seems to be a gesture of those who want to appropriate the monument. Better take a selfie!” Rinaldi added.
The Colosseum is considered one of the seven wonders of the modern world and is also a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Site.
The most recent incident came just a couple weeks after a 40-year-old Polish tourist crashed a drone inside the Colosseum after he was told it was a no-fly zone.
Although the drone crashed into a set of steps inside the Colosseum, there was no damage to the building, and no visitors were injured, Wanted in Rome reported. It’s unclear what charges, if any, the tourist faced.