Tourists damage the Colosseum – level 3

17-03-2015 07:00

Two American tourists have been caught scratching their initials into the ancient walls of Rome’s Colosseum.

The women, aged 21 and 25, are from California but have not been named. Police officers on duty were alerted to the girls’ behaviour after they had scratched their initials “J” and “N” in letters about 20 centimetres high onto an interior wall and then taken a selfie. The 2,000-year-old arena, where gladiators fought bloody battles for the entertainment of crowds, is one at the capital’s most popular attractions. Millions of tourists visit every year.

Fellow visitors were divided in their responses.

“It’s like a historical piece. Why do you need your name in it? You didn’t build it so…”

“Why do you think it’s cool?”

“It’s like leaving your mark. I don’t know. I think it’s cool.”

The American tourists are not the first people to deface the monument. Last year, a Russian tourist was fined 20,000 euros after scrawling an initial into the brick work.

Difficult words: initial (the first letter of name), ancient (very old), on duty (at work), alert to (to inform somebody about something which isn’t right), fellow visitor (a visitor from the same group), divided (different), piece (object), deface (to damage something), scrawl (to write something in a hurry).



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