Dutch tourist arrested for graffiti on ancient Roman dwelling

  ROME -- A Dutch tourist has been arrested in Herculaneum for signing the walls of a ruin with a permanent marker the local authorities have reported. 

  The 27 year old tourist has been arrested on charges of damage and vandalism of an artistic work after he decided to leave his mark on the ancient Roman domus which emerged from the ashes of Vesuvius. Security at the archaeological park discovered the signature on the stuccos of the ancient Roman dwelling and immediately alerted the carabinieri. 

  The act of vandalism has garnered criticism from the Minister of Culture, Gennaro Sangiuliano. “Once again our cultural heritage has become victim to incivility and idiocy.” He stated in a message on the Ministry of Culture website. 

  “Only a few weeks ago the front of the Royal Palace of Caserta was splattered with paint. Yesterday it was the turn of an ancient Roman domus in the Herculaneum archaeological park, ruined by a tourist with a permanent marker.”

  “Any damage injuries our heritage, our beauty and our identity and for that it must be sanctioned to the highest degree. Thank you to the carabinieri who immediately identified and arrested the person responsible for this cowardly act.  Moreover, I note that thanks to the law that I strongly supported the perpetrator will have to pay for the restoration work out of his own pocket.” Sangiuliano concluded. 

  This is not the first time that the region of Campania has dealt with vandalism at archaeological sites. In 2020, a tourist scrambled onto the roof of Pompeii’s central baths to take a selfie. Two years later in 2022 a man was caught riding a scooter through the city’s excavation site.