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.
67 thoughts on “Two California Women Carve Their Initials Into Colosseum and Then Take Selfie”
@Pogo Hears a Who
Ah…I hate to break it to you, but the religious kids are engaged in the same narcissistic behavior. Keeping up with the Joneses is a regular thing in the new prosperity doctrine religious movement. Look at all the BMWs/Mercedes with fish symbols. What kind of luxury car would Jesus drive (and then post a selfie with it on Facebook)?
MikeW – my take on reading the Gospels is that Jesus would not drive a luxury car, but Christians are not prevented from driving them. There is a rumor that the narcissist-in-chief is a Christian. I know it is only a rumor but there is not much more to go on.
Paul, cave wall paintings are not to be interpreted as an excuse to leave my own doodles on those very same walls. Some people, unfortunately, seem to have been raised by wolves, totally lacking in any manners or respect for irreplaceable historical objects or structures. Funny how the same people, who would readily deface or destroy these treasures, would be the first to cry if someone dared to damage one of their personal items. They can’t seem to take that leap from protecting their own possessions to protecting objects belonging to the world community. How unfortunate. It speaks volumes about their respective characters and gives us a glimpse into the morals and ethics, or lack thereof, in their lives.
Moonwalker – the Romans grafittied everything they could write on whereever they conquered. This is just karma. Now, the current justice system in Rome is so screwed up I am surprised the girls have not been charged with Satanism (their go-to tactic). In the United States, I could get them off on “following cultural heritage” as a defense.
“You seem to be puzzled yourself.”
I think I’ve made my position fairly clear.
Although with all your selective quoting and misplaced efforts at creating absurdest strawmen, I can see how you might get confused about what I am actually saying.
I don’t condone the behavior.
Better if they simply went back to using it as a toilet.
Two sentences, containing opposing views, which are inconsistent with one another in a single response on the issue. Either you do condone the behavior or you don’t. You seem to be puzzled yourself.
If one does not respect the structure and it offends one’s sensibilities, then don’t go and visit. If one does choose to go, leave the place as you found it. Simple. Easy. Your take on what happened there years ago is irrelevant.
“You condone the behavior because the Coliseum once was the location of atrocities. ”
I don’t condone the behavior. I just don’t think it’s worth being thrown in jail for. Seems a bit…well…Draconian.
Also, the Coliseum wasn’t just where the atrocities were carried out; carrying out atrocities was the reason it was built and its primary function for hundreds of years.
If Italian authorities had decided to turn it into a shrine to the countless souls who died there in terror and anguish then perhaps I would be more sympathetic to its de minimus defacement, but promoting that sort of history doesn’t bring in the tourist dollars quite like the wild tales of gladiatorial combat and the baiting of exotic carnivores, which is apparently the only Roman history anybody ever seems to care about.
2000 years later and people are still making money off the pageantry of the Coliseum’s mass murder. Better if they simply went back to using it as a toilet.
No, no it’s all the feminists fault, ISIS, graffiti, destruction of historical monuments, samey, samey, blamey.
Destruction of a historical site is just that: destruction. A few scratches? We’re debating only a matter of degree of destruction. You condone the behavior because the Coliseum once was the location of atrocities. Beyond illogical. More like bizarre. Civilized human beings do not scratch, damage or destroy the property of others, especially when that property has a historical value. Civilized human beings do not look for a excuses for those who do. R E S P E C T. It’s more than just a song.
Yes indeed and it’s all the fault of feminism.
Moonwalker – adult Roman women (matrons) liked to scratch amorous ditties about their favorite gladiator on various places in Rome and elsewhere in the empire. Grafitti is part of the culture. When in Rome, do as the Romans. 🙂
Attempting to compare a few scratches by a couple of tourists on holiday with the purposeful and complete destruction by an organization of murderous, armed terrorists on jihad.
Talk about reductio ad absurdum. What’s next? Feed them to the lions?
You wrote a four paragraph diatribe on the innocuous nature of the defacing of the Coliseum. I merely responded to your flawed logic.
Lighten up Moonwalker.
Statues, not statutes. Lol!
For centuries, the Coliseum stood proudly as the world’s greatest abattoir for ritual slaughter. That was its sole purpose. There, untold thousands of slaves and innocents were terrorized and butchered in the most cunningly cruel ways ever imagined, many for their religious beliefs and all for the entertainment and profit of others.
The impressive aesthetics of the building, of which the good professor is so enamored, were purposely meant to glorify the repressive and homicidal nature of the Roman political system. Indeed, the Coliseum represents perhaps the pinnacle architectural achievement in the promotion of man’s inhumanity to man, like Auschwitz if it were designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.
So you’ll excuse me if I don’t jump on the outrage chariot simply because a couple of young women after couple of glasses of vino decide to scratch a brick. Nothing new for this thankfully obsolete building. After all, soldiers were using it for target practice and squatters as a toilet for many hundreds of years before these two book their flights.
And perhaps rightly so, since the crumbling of the Coliseum says a lot more about the progress civilization has made in no longer needing such a terrible place than all the pious pronouncements about preserving “one of humanity’s greatest structures” ever will.
I hear that the boys in ISIS have a few extra jackhammers which you could use. Why not? The destruction is legitimate since these ancient statutes are an affront to those believing in a strict interpretation of the Ten Commandments. Granted, there were despicable actions which occurred at the Coliseum years ago; however, civilized human beings do not destroy historical sites or objects, regardless of the original purpose of those objects. Your way of thinking would dictate that Auschwitz be destroyed because of the atrocities which happened there. Nothing could be further from the truth.
These tourists should be sentenced to Life In Oklahoma with no time off for good behavior.
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