MILAN – Italian police say a tourist from Ecuador has been cited for inscribing the names of his son and wife and "2017" inside the ancient Roman Colosseum.
Rome Mayor Vriginia Raggi denounced the alleged vandalism in a Twitter message on Tuesday, writing "Rome deserves respect. Whoever harms the Colosseum, harms all Romans and all who love the city."
Carabinieri Major Lorenzo Iacobone says the tourist was observed in the act of etching by an official tour guide, who reported it to police.
It will be up to a judge to determine a penalty. In the past, tourists cited for defacing ancient sites have been handed fines as stiff as 20,000 euros ($21,000.)
Labor unions have complained about a lack of personnel to prevent visitors from leaving their marks on antiquities.