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Tourist carves her initials in Rome’s Colosseum

Incident occurs weeks after high-profile act of vandalism at ancient site.

A young Swiss tourist faces charges after she was caught carving the first letter of her name into the Colosseum on Friday, in the latest act of vandalism at the Rome landmark.

The 17-year-old, in Italy on holiday with her family, was spotted defacing the ancient monument by an Italian tour guide who reported her immediately to Colosseum authorities and the Carabinieri police.

The tourist is accused of causing damage to a site of historical and artistic interest, an offence that carries a jail term and a fine of up to €15,000, reports Italian news agency ANSA.

The incident comes less than a month after another tourist made world headlines after a viral video showed him carving "Ivan+Hayley 23” into an inner wall of the Colosseum.

The man, identified as a 27-year-old Bulgarian fitness instructor living in the UK, was tracked down by Italian police and risks a fine of €15,000 and a prison sentence of up to five years.

The tourist, whose actions were slammed as "uncivilised and absurd" by Italy's culture minister Gennaro Sangiuliano, subsequently wrote a letter of apology to Rome's prosecutor's office, begging forgiveness and offering his "most heartfelt and honest apologies to the Italians and to the whole world".

However the man's letter ended with the bizarre claim that he was unaware that the Colosseum was ancient, prompting widespread scorn in Italy.

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