Man who carved name into Rome’s Colosseum claims he did not know it was ‘so old’ in apology letter

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
UK tourist, reportedly named Ivan Dimitrov, said he did not know Rome’s Colosseum was ‘so old’.

The UK tourist who carved his name into the Colosseum has reportedly claimed he did not know the ancient monument was ‘so old’ in an apology letter to the Italian authorities. The man carved “Ivan + Hayley 23” into the walls and was traced to the UK after an outraged bystander caught him on film and put it online.

The 27-year-old man, reportedly named Ivan Dimitrov, is believed to live in Bristol and was with his girlfriend during the incident. He could be fined 15,000 euros (£12,928) or jailed for up to five years.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

His action has sparked public outrage across the country, with Italy’s culture minister calling it “offensive to everyone around the world.” Many have also left angry comments on his work Facebook account, saying that he should be arrested for ‘disrespecting’ the historic site.

According to local newspaper II Messaggero, Dimitrov has now written an apology letter to Rome’s public prosecutor and to the city’s mayor, in which he offers “heartfelt and honest apologies to the Italians and to the whole world.”

Despite the Colosseum being more than 1,900 years old, he reportedly writes: “Through these lines, I would like to address my heartfelt and honest apologies to the Italians and to the whole world for the damage caused to an asset which, in fact, is the heritage of all humanity.

“It is with deep embarrassment that only after what regrettably happened did I learn of the antiquity of the monument.’

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

His lawyer, Alexandro Maria Tirelli, told the newspaper it’s hoped the letter will help Dimitrov avoid the harshest sentence as he defended his client by implying that he was an ignorant tourist.

He said: “The boy is the prototype of the foreigner who frivolously believes that anything is allowed in Italy, even the type of act which in their own countries would be severely punished.”

Related topics:

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.