Italian police have identified the tourist who allegedly vandalized a brick wall on Rome’s Colosseum.
The vandal, who G Adventures was offering a reward to find, can be seen scratching “Ivan+Hayley 23” onto the wall in a video recorded in Rome this week. The video quickly went viral, with calls to identify and arrest the person shouted from around the world, including tour operator G Adventures, which offered its own reward for finding the perp.
On Thursday, the Italian Ministry of Culture Gennaro Sangiuliano confirmed that the Carabinieri, a military police force in Italy, had identified the man in the video. Sangiuliano did not publish the man's name, but the Piazza Venezia branch of Carabinieri told CNN that the man and his companion who filmed the video are believed to be a couple from the U.K.
The police also said they identified the couple through “traditional investigations and photographic comparison” and that they remain innocent until proven guilty.
Sangiuliano, for his part, called the vandalism “an act that has offended all those throughout the world who appreciate the value of archaeology, monuments, and history.”
“Now I hope that justice will take its course by rigorously applying the laws,” Sangiuliano wrote on Thursday. “If it comes to a trial, the Ministry of Culture will appear as a civil party.”
If charged and convicted, the vandal could face a fine of at least 15,000 euros ($16,360 US) or up to five years in prison.