A California man vacationing in Europe recently captured video of a tourist vandalizing the Colosseum in Rome.
Orange resident Ryan Lutz was on a two-month tour of Europe when he shot the video.
“Like a lot of Americans, I probably, you know, saw ‘Gladiator’ back in the early 2000s … and got entranced by ancient Rome … Yeah, I wanted to see it and it came to life,” Lutz said.
But his visit was ruined when he found a guy carving his name into one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
Lutz recorded the tourist and said he confronted him, but the video shows the vandal grinning as he continues to carve with what appeared to be a set of keys.
“I was pretty upset,” said Lutz, who was not sure where the person was from.
“You always hate to see any tourist doing that … You kind of hold out hope that they’re not American,” Lutz said, adding that American tourists already have a pretty bad reputation in Europe.
When Lutz reported the incident and offered his video to security guards, they didn’t seem to be interested.
But when he posted his video on Reddit, it went viral, causing an international reaction.
Italy’s culture minister is now calling for the person to be “identified and sanctioned.”
Police are trying to track the man down and more cameras are expected to be put up around the Colosseum as a result of the incident.
Lutz says tourists should show respect when visiting other countries.
“Be humble. Have an attitude in contrast to what I saw at the Colosseum … Whatever fun you have just make sure you’re not being offensive to your host country,” he said.
Tourists have been punished for carving their initials on the Colosseum. A few years ago, a Russian visitor was fined $20,000 and given a four-month prison sentence for carving the letter “K” onto a wall at the Colosseum.