Here's an important travel tip for anyone considering a trip to a nation with giant stone landmarks lying around: Don't scrawl your goddamn initials on the side of any UNESCO World Heritage sites such as, for instance, the Roman Colosseum. Refrain from graffiti entirely, if you can help it!
I know Roman soldiers left graffiti all over Europe, the Eastern Mediterranean and North Africa but you're not a Roman soldier. If all the Roman soldiers jumped off a cliff, would you jump, too?
The Guardian reports that two American tourists are currently in deep shit for trying to make their mark:
The Californians, aged 21 and 25, snuck away from their tour group on Saturday and began scratching their initials into the amphitheatre with a coin. They managed a "J" and an "N" around 8cm high, before taking a selfie with their handiwork.
Admittedly, it was a section of the Colosseum reconstructed in the 1800s, but hey guess what it's still really fucking old and important. The pair were quickly busted and could face steep fines for their misbehavior. But they're far from the first offenders. Five people were caught last year doing some sort of defacement, and a spokesperson was relatively philosophical about the whole thing:
"There's a difference in perception. Museums are treated like churches, sacred places where there are things of great value. Whereas the Colosseum is an incomplete building which has already been robbed," the spokesman said.
Try to display a little more respect for ancient history than the Visigoths or the troops of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, okay? That doesn't seem like too much to ask.
Contact the author at email@example.com.