Italian Cops Found the Tourist Whose Name Was Carved in the Colosseum

When he was caught on camera apparently carving his name into a wall of Rome’s 2,000-year-old Colosseum and laughing when he saw he was being watched, he shocked people all over the world.

Now, he is probably shocked himself.

Italy’s culture minister says that the person who scratched “Ivan+Hayley 23” into a brick wall of one of the world’s most valuable buildings this week has been found.

And after a bunch of Americans trashed Italian heritage places last year, some readers will be glad to hear that this time, the suspect isn’t from the US—he’s from the UK.

Culture Minister Gennaro Sangiuliano wrote on Thursday that the Carabinieri, a military police force, had “identified the person thought to be responsible for the rude and stupid act at the Colosseum.”

“An act that hurt the feelings of people all over the world who value archaeology, monuments, and history,” he said.

His tweet revealed that “Ivan and Hayley” are likely the names of the tourist and his girlfriend, who was filmed watching as he carved their names.

In a second tweet, Sangiuliano hinted that the case will go to court.

Prison Threat

He wrote, “I hope that justice will be done by following the law to the letter.”

“If it goes to court, the Ministry of Culture will be on the side of the people who want to win.”

Italian news agency Ansa says that if the man is found guilty of a crime, he could get a fine of at least €15,000 ($16,360) or up to five years in jail.

The Carabinieri office in Piazza Venezia said in a statement to CNN that the suspect had been found and that the couple was likely from the UK.

“The main suspect was found through traditional investigations and comparing photos,” the police wrote.

“The carabinieri have confirmed that it is a man and a woman from England who live together.”

“It should be noted that the case is still in the early stages of the investigation, so the suspect should be thought of as innocent until the court makes a final decision.”

In a statement, Sangiuliano said that a government plan is going through parliament that would “make those who hurt our heritage answer for it personally.” Vandals would be held responsible for their actions, “including in terms of assets,” he said.

“Those who hurt others must pay.”

Tourists have been breaking things at the Colosseum for a long time. In 2020, the cops were told that an Irish tourist had carved his initials into a wall.

An American couple was caught carving their names into the Arch of Augustus, a 2,000-year-old structure next to the Colosseum, in August of last year.

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