Rome’s iconic Colosseum was vandalized by a 17-year-old girl from Switzerland less than a month after a Bulgarian tourist vandalized the site, according to media reports from July 17.
Footage of the girl carving the letter ‘N’ into the precious site has circulated online. The video shows the young girl desecrating the historic site and then backing off once the videographer David Battaglino approached her.
Nuovo sfregio al Colosseo, una turista svizzera incide le sue iniziali: rischia il carcere e una maximulta. E' stata filmata da una guida e denunciata #ANSA https://t.co/LwYpfzyrdK pic.twitter.com/ZptKpOD1Db— Agenzia ANSA (@Agenzia_Ansa) July 15, 2023
“After a few seconds, my group applauded me. To her, in English, I said, ‘Do you want applause?’ The young girl understood that she had ended up in the crosshairs of those who protect art and turned away to go toward her family,” Battaglino told Italian news outlet La Repubblica.
Battalingo later told Italy24 that he had attempted to inform the girl’s parents about the gravity of the girl’s actions but that they had blown him off with a “gesture of annoyance.”
“She’s just a little girl, she wasn’t doing anything wrong,” the parents told him, according to La Repubblica.
Vandalizing Italy’s historic sites
“It is the first time I have managed to film an act of vandalism at the Colosseum but in six years I have seen dozens,” Battaglino told the local news outlet. “There are also those who rip off parts of the wall. They even spat on me once for scolding a boy.”
The girl could face a prison sentence of up to five years and a fine of 15,000 euros (approximately 60,400 NIS or $16,700 USD).
Less than a month prior, Bulgarian-born English resident Ivan Dimitrov had carved “Ivan + Haley 23” into the Colosseum.