A tourist caught on camera carving his and his girlfriend’s initials on the walls of the Roman Colosseum has written a letter of apology in which he claimed that he had no idea the monument was so old. Ivan Danailov Dimitrov, 31, said in the July 4 message to the Rome prosecutor’s office, the mayor of Rome, and the city as a whole that he experienced “deepest embarrassment” when he realized what he’d done.
“I admit with deepest embarrassment that it was only after what regrettably happened that I learned of the monument’s antiquity,” he claimed. He also insisted that he recognized the “seriousness of the deed I committed” and wanted to give his “heartfelt and sincere apologies to Italians and the entire world for the damage done to a monument, which is, in fact, heritage of all humanity.”
Dimitrov was caught red-handed when a man filmed him carving away at the Colosseum, etching “Ivan + Hayley 23/6/23” into the building. Despite being confronted and told to stop, he kept on going, completely ignoring the person taking the video.
Reputo gravissimo, indegno e segno di grande inciviltà, che un turista sfregi uno dei luoghi più celebri al mondo, il Colosseo, per incidere il nome della sua fidanzata. Spero che chi ha compiuto questo gesto venga individuato e sanzionato secondo le nostre leggi. pic.twitter.com/p8Jss1GWuY
— Gennaro Sangiuliano (@g_sangiuliano) June 26, 2023
It took several days to figure out who “Ivan” was, but Ivan Danailov Dimitrov was eventually tracked by Italian military police officers to his home in England. Italy takes such acts of vandalism very seriously, and if convicted in Italian court, he could face a jail sentence of up to five years and a fine of up to $25,000. However, his lawyer insisted “that he had pulled what he thought was a harmless stunt.” Yes, defacing property is totally fun!
He also claimed that his client was an idiot who, like many other idiots, thinks they can do whatever they want when they go to another country and face zero consequences.
“It should be said that when foreign tourists come to Italy, from anywhere, not any particular nationality, there’s this idea that they’ve come to a country where everything is allowed, where they turn a blind eye, where it’s, ‘That’s how it goes,’” attorney Alexandro Maria Tirelli said, per the Sydney Morning Herald. Well, let this be a lesson that’s not the case. His apology letter is clearly what he hopes will be a “get out of jail free” card (literally) and not at all heartfelt.
If you wouldn’t do something to your own home or in your own country, why on earth would you think it’s okay to do it anywhere else? Dimitrov is an embarrassment, and he and people like him give tourists who travel to respectfully experience and appreciate new places and cultures a bad name.
2/2 Ora auspico che la giustizia faccia il suo corso applicando rigorosamente le leggi. Se si arriverà a un processo il Ministero della Cultura si costituirà parte civile.
#vandalo #sfregio #Colosseo @ParcoColosseo
— Gennaro Sangiuliano (@g_sangiuliano) June 29, 2023