calif. man films ‘entitled’ tourist allegedly keying Italy’s Colosseum

A California man visiting Italy caught another tourist allegedly carving into a wall at the Colosseum in Rome and captured footage of it.

Ryan Lutz, an Orange County resident backpacking through Europe after graduating from Cal Poly Pomona, assisted Italian police in the tourist’s arrest.

In the video, filmed June 23, Lutz spots a person using keys to carve “Ivan + Hayley 23” into the Colosseum, which is nearly 2,000 years old.

“I started recording when I saw the guy from 20 or 30 feet away. He was obviously tagging the wall, and I wanted proof in case it turned out to be useful (as it is now obviously was),” Lutz told SFGATE in an email. “I was stunned at his audacity to do this in such an exposed area — even angry.”

After recording the incident, Lutz went to find a staff member to report it. Lutz said the staff member followed him to the site, where he pointed out the man he had recorded, but the staff member didn’t confront the man and instead reported the incident over the radio.

“I asked if he wanted the video or what I should do, and he told me that since he didn’t personally see it happen that there wasn’t something he could do, and he didn’t want the video,” Lutz said .

Lutz asked to speak to someone else and was referred to the worker’s boss, who told him the police had been contacted. Lutz posted the video to his YouTube account and on Reddit to bring attention to the issue. The video has since garnered over 261,000 views.

“Wherever this guy is from, it’s fairly obvious he feels entitled to carve his name into a significant monument, which seems pretty selfish to me,” Lutz said.

Italian police searched for the tourist who allegedly destroyed public property, and the man has since been founded, according to Italian Culture Minister Gennaro Sangiuliano.

“Grateful to the [Italian police] for efficiently identifying the alleged perpetrator of the uncivilized and absurd act committed at #Colosseo. An act that has offended all those throughout the world who appreciate the value of archaeology, monuments and history,” Sangiuliano said in a tweet (translated from Italian by Google).

The Colosseum has clear signage that says, “No climbing or writing on the walls,” according to The New York Times. If prosecuted, the person could face up to five years in prison and a fine of up to 15,000 Euros.

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