Americans Deface Colosseum, Continue to Be Stupid Abroad


News Flash: It's NOT OK to treat ancient wonders as if they're bathroom stalls or neighborhood oak trees. Last year, a number of visitors defaced the Colosseum -- one Russian guy was arrested and fined almost $25,000 for carving the letter "K" on an amphitheater wall.

That apparently wasn't lesson enough for two Californians visiting the Eternal City, who broke away from their tour group on Saturday to etch their initials into a wall using a coin. The unnamed culprits, aged 21 and 25, posed for a selfie (because pics or you didn't commit a crime!) with the “J” and “N” scratched into the bricks, which were about 3in in height on a wall restored in the 1800s.

But with recently increased security at the Colosseum, it didn't take police long to spot the pair and report them for besmirching the landmark. Now the vandals may have to appear in court and pay a fine for their doodles.

“It’s not an original wall but it’s nevertheless antique,” a spokesman for the Special Superintendency for the Archeological Heritage of Rome told the Guardian. Antonio Camertoni, a man dressed as a Roman soldier outside the site, also gave his two cents: “It’s a piece of cultural heritage. They don’t do it at home, but they do it here,” he told the newspaper.

Seriously, people. Cut it out.

Chloe Pantazi is an editorial assistant on Thrillist's travel team. Yes, that's a British accent. No, she doesn't watch Doctor Who. Follow her on Twitter at @ChloePantazi.