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27-year-old tourist arrested after defacing the walls of an ancient Roman house near Pompeii

Anna BoklajukNews
Visitors walk through the archaeological site of Pompeii at the bottom of Mount Vesuvius

A 27-year-old tourist was caught defacing an ancient Roman house near Naples. He is accused of damaging the Domus excavations that survived the eruption of Mount Vesuvius.

The man was detained after officers discovered graffiti on the fresco wall of an ancient Roman villa in Herculaneum. Italian police said that the graffiti, made with a black permanent marker on a white section of the painted wall, matches the man's signature, The Independent reports.

27-year-old tourist arrested after defacing the walls of an ancient Roman house near Pompeii

"Any action that harms our heritage, our beauty and our identity must be punished with the utmost severity," Italian Minister of Culture Gennaro Sangiuliano commented on the incident.

Herculaneum is a small town near Pompeii. After the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, it was buried under ash, which helped its ruins to be well preserved.

This is not the first time a historical site has been damaged in Italy. In 2023, police detained two Germans after they allegedly used black spray to write "DKS 1860" on 460-year-old columns of the iconic Vasari Corridor in Florence. The same year, two tourists carved their names on the wall of the 2000-year-old Colosseum.

In response to repeated acts of vandalism, Italy has introduced harsher penalties for those who damage monuments and cultural sites, imposing fines of up to 40,000 euros ($43,548) for those found guilty.

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