A stunned American tourist, Ryan Lutz, filmed a man inscribing his and his girlfriend’s names into a wall of the Roman Colosseum on June 23.

Ivan, of the “Ivan + Haley 23/6/23” inscription, has not yet been arrested. In the event of his capture, he would face a hefty fine of 15,000 euros (about $16,374 U.S.) and five years in prison, per The New York Times.

Lutz could not believe his fellow tourist’s audacity, asking him, “Are you serious, man?”

Lutz, who is from Orange, California, took his video to YouTube and Reddit, blasting bad tourist behavior for the world to see. According to The Associated Press, Italian media picked up the video, evidence of a fourth incident of vandalism at the Colosseum this year.

After confronting the man, Lutz approached a Colosseum guard with the hope that the incident would be taken care of, though he was met with indifference and decided to use social media to hold the man accountable for his actions, per AP.

Tourism Minister Daniela Santanche expressed her disdain for poorly behaved tourists. “We cannot allow those who visit our nation to feel free to behave in this way,” AP reported.

Bad tourist behavior like this isn’t new, though. As tourism ramps up post-pandemic, travel hot spots are facing more of these incidents. It’s one thing to keep abreast of local laws, but having the audacity to vandalize pieces of a country’s history — a blatantly illegal act — is an entirely different matter.

Here are a few examples of vandalism by tourists in destinations around the world:

Petroglyph vandalism in Moab, Utah

In April 2021, vandals carved the phrase “white power” and other scribbles into the Birthing Rock, a large boulder featuring petroglyphs on all sides, the Deseret News reported.

The rock had been a sacred site for local tribes for at least 2,000 years and remains an important historical artifact.

At the time of the incident, Elizabeth Hora, an archaeologist for the Utah State Historic Preservation Office, told the Deseret News, “I’m not pleased. ... I would have preferred that image of the Birthing Rock to have remained a great example of protecting the past.”

Vandals cut down saguaro cactus in Saguaro National Park, Arizona

In October 2020, a vandal cut down a “symbol of the American West” — the saguaro cactus.

According to Arizona Central, multiple saguaro cactuses were destroyed in Saguaro National Park. These cactuses can live for 200 years, though they only grow in a few areas and take decades to reach larger sizes. The loss of even a few cactuses is detrimental to the park as the species also shows signs of decline.

Climate change, drought and grazing all contribute to a decrease in saguaro seedlings and therefore population decline.

Tourist throws electric scooter down Spanish Steps in Rome, Italy

Rome, the premier tourist destination, makes another appearance on this list, but this time the scene of the crime is the Spanish Steps.

In June 2022, an American tourist caused damage totaling 25,000 euros by throwing an electric scooter down the Roman monument.

Just seven years earlier, the steps were subject to a 1.5 million euro restoration, Forbes reported.

According to The Guardian, the woman and another tourist were tracked down through a video of the incident and fined 400 euros each. Her companion had also taken his scooter down the steps. The two were banned from visiting the monument in the future.

Machu Picchu, Peru

In January 2020, six tourists damaged a wall of the site’s Temple of the Sun and defecated at the ruins, per The Guardian.

The Incan ruins are one of the seven wonders of the world and see around a million visitors each year as of 2023, per BBC.

Machu Picchu, an important piece of Incan history in Peru, was vandalized by tourists in January 2020. | Martin Mejia, Associated Press

Euronews reported that the tourists had snuck into the site after it had closed for the day, evading rounds of guards. One of them, an Argentinian man, copped to a leading role in the crime, having knocked a stone out of a wall, thus damaging a sacred relic.

Five of the tourists were deported to Bolivia for their involvement and the Argentinian man was held in Peru and charged with “illegal extraction of cultural goods,” per Euronews.

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