We recently discussed the case of a Russian who was arrested for carving his name into the ancient walls of the Colosseum. Now, due to the actions of two California women aged 21 and 25, we must bear the shame of such a despicable act. The women used a coin to carve large letters of J and N into the site. We have also discussed stupid acts, including by Americans, where art has been damaged by accident. However like the graffiti by the Chinese tourist, on the Luxor temple, and the Russian tourist who carved a K on the Colosseum this was an intentional act of thoughtless destruction. He was not a stupid teenager, but a 42-year-old man.
The apology of these two cretins only increased my anger. The pair reportedly said “We apologize for what we did. We regret it, but we did not imagine it was something so serious.” Really, who raised you? The ancient Vandals? How old do you have to be to know that it is disgraceful to deface the walls of one of humanity’s greatest structures?
These women not only carved their initials into the walls but then posed for a selfie. What is amazing is that this structure is overwhelming in its size and history for those of us who have been so fortunate to visit it. Why you would need to see your initials carved into it to truly enjoy the experience is otherworldly. I have no idea how people are raised to look at a magnificent structure like this and want to mark it with graffiti and then record your disgraceful act as something to celebrate.
They have been charged with “aggravated damage on building of historical and artistic interest.” However, like the Russian, they are likely only to be given a fine. They should go to jail. Since decency and humanity appear to have left no impression on these women, a jail stint just might. They should also be identified. If they are going to leave a mark on the Colosseum, the act should leave a mark on their own records not some anonymous notations that shames their fellow countrymen.