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Tourist destroys ancient Roman wall on vacation, angering Italian authorities

A young man from the Netherlands has been reprimanded by Italian police after allegedly vandalizing a historic Roman wall while on vacation.

The incident took place in Herculaneum, an ancient Roman city which, like Pompeii, was covered in volcanic ash from the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD.

In a statement released Monday, the Carabinieri, the Italian law enforcement agency, explained that the tourist had “signed” the walls of a domus in town Sunday evening. A domus was a townhouse-type residence for families in ancient times.

The 27-year-old was then on vacation in the south of Italy.

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A 27-year-old Dutch man has been arrested for allegedly vandalizing an ancient Roman wall. (Getty Images / Carabinieri)

“A 27-year-old Dutchman, on vacation in Campania, decided to leave a mark of his passage, writing with a marker on the ancient stucco of a house torn from the ashes of Vesuvius,” said the police press release. “A signature, in black felt-tip pen, (was) indelible.”

“The man was immediately identified and reported for damage and defilement of artistic works.”

Italian Culture Minister Gennaro Sangiuliano said on Facebook that the suspect had been punished for “damage and (the) oxidation of (the) work of art”.

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The Dutch tourist was on vacation in Italy when he vandalized the ancient wall, police said. (Carabinieri/document via REUTERS)

“Any damage harms our heritage, our beauty and our identity and that is why it must be punished with the utmost firmness,” Sangiuliano said in a statement obtained by Reuters.

This incident is not the first time a tourist in Italy has been tempted to leave their mark. Last summer, a British tourist apologized for damaging Rome’s Colosseum.

Ivan Danailov Dimitrov, then aged 31, carved his name and that of his fiancée on a wall, writing: “Ivan+Haley 23”.

“I admit with the deepest embarrassment that it was only after what unfortunately happened that I learned of the antiquity of the monument,” reads a letter he wrote. “(I apologize to) Italians and the whole world for the damage caused to a monument, which is in fact the heritage of all humanity.”

A general view shows the archaeological site of Herculaneum in Ercolano, near Naples, with the Vesuvius volcano in the background, October 23, 2019. (Getty Images)

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Fox News Digital has contacted the Carabinieri for more details.

Reuters contributed to this report.

News Source : www.foxnews.com
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