Bristol tourist says he didn’t know Colosseum was ‘an antiquity’ before he carved into it

Colosseum vandals
By Harry Kemble
Home » Bristol tourist says he didn’t know Colosseum was ‘an antiquity’ before he carved into it

A tourist from Bristol who carved his and his partner’s name into the Colosseum wall in Rome has said he only learned of the monument’s ‘antiquity’ after the incident.

Ivan Dimitrov, 27, who is originally from Bulgaria, was with his girlfriend Hayley Bracey, 33, when he was filmed by an American tourist scratching at the wall.

The American tourist’s footage went viral after it was posted online, leading to G Adventures founder Bruce Poon Tip inviting the culprit to attend a community travel summit with him in Peru.

In a letter of apology to authorities, seen by MailOnline, Ivan said: “Aware of the seriousness of the committed act, with these lines, I wish to address my most heartfelt and honest apologies to the Italians and to the whole world for the damage caused to an asset which, in fact, is the heritage of all humanity.

“I admit with profound embarrassment that only after what regretfully happened did I learn of the antiquity of the monument.

“The council with dedication, care and sacrifice guards the inestimable historical and artistic value.”

Ivan’s case will probably come to court next year, although he does not to have attend the hearing in person. He faces a possible fine of up to €15,000 and could be jailed for between two and five years.

Meanwhile, G Adventures has confirmed to Travel Gossip that Bruce Poon Tip’s offer to Ivan of a place at G Adventures’ inaugural community travel summit in Peru in September still stands.

Bruce launched a global search for the pair after the video of Ivan carving into the monument went viral, saying he would like to offer them the ‘opportunity to…learn the value of protecting the destinations they visit’.

However, G Adventures told Travel Gossip it has not yet contacted Ivan.

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