AN IRISH tourist is facing up to a year in jail after being caught carving his initials into the walls of Rome's historic Colosseum.
The 32-year-old, who is not being named by police, was arrested by police for using a sharp object to carve his initials into the almost 2,000-year-old stone.
Security officers alerted the Carabinieri who found the man's 2-inch high initials carved into a pillar on the first floor of the monument.
The Irishman was charged with aggravated damage to an asset of historical and artistic interest which brings with it a fine of at least €2,000 and a potential prison sentence of up to one year.
Vandalism of the ancient structure isn't a rarity, sadly.
A Russian tourist who carved the letter K into the Colosseum in 2014 was handed a €20,000 fine and a four month suspended sentence.
Construction on the Colosseum, believed to be the largest amphitheater in the world, began sometime between 70 and 72 CE under the Flavian emperors.
In its pomp, it held up 80,000 spectators who came to watch gladiators in combat with each other and dangerous animals.
"The Colosseum, like any monument that represents the history of all of us, must be preserved and handed over to future generations," said archaeologist Federica Rinaldi.
"It is a monument that deserves everyone's respect because it belongs to everyone, and it must remain so," she added.