Tourist caught carving initials on Colosseum

Latest act of vandalism by tourists at Rome monument.

A Lebanese tourist was caught defacing a pillar at Rome's Colosseum on the afternoon of 11 July, according to the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.

The 22-year-old, who used a coin to scratch the initials "H.A." onto the pillar, was caught in the act by security guards who handed him over to police.

It is the latest in a string of similar incidents involving tourists damaging the ancient amphitheatre.

Last November a 42-year-old Russian tourist was fined €20,000 for using a stone to engrave a 25-cm-tall letter “K” on an internal Colosseum wall.

Previous cases involved a 45-year-old Australian man and his 12-year-old son scrawling on the monument in January 2014, and in May last year a Brazilian teenager was also caught carving his name.

In March 2014 a Canadian teenager was apprehended while trying to leave the Colosseum with a brick from the monument in her backpack.

The 45-year-old Australian was arrested on charges of vandalism but the minors evaded fines due to their age.