Tourist defaces Colosseum with graffiti

Austrian is latest tourist to vandalise ancient monument.

A 40-year-old Austrian woman has been arrested for using a Swiss army knife to carve the letters “M.D.S.” into a pillar belonging to the ancient amphitheatre.

This is the latest in a string of similar incidents of tourists intentionally damaging the monument over the last year.

In July a 33-year-old Bulgarian footballer was arrested for carving his initials onto a Colosseum column, just days after a Lebanese tourist was caught doing the same thing.

Last November a 42-year old Russian tourist was fined €20,000 after carving a large letter “K” on a wall inside the monument.

In recent days the Colosseum made international news after staff staged a lightening walk-out to attend a union meeting on 18 September, leaving long lines of tourists queuing for three hours in the 30C-degree temperatures.

The move prompted Italian premier Matteo Renzi to announce that museums and cultural sites will be added to the list of essential public services to prevent future unannounced closures.

Ph. Messaggero