By Associated Press - Tuesday, April 11, 2017

MILAN (AP) - Italian police say a tourist from Ecuador has been cited for inscribing the names of his son and wife and “2017” inside the ancient Roman Colosseum.

Rome Mayor Virginia Raggi denounced the alleged vandalism in a Twitter message on Tuesday, writing “Rome deserves respect. Whoever harms the Colosseum, harms all Romans and all who love the city.”

Carabinieri Major Lorenzo Iacobone says the tourist had been spotted by an official tour guide, who reported it to police. Photographs show the tourist carved the names on a wall that had been similarly defaced many times over.

It will be up to a judge to determine a penalty. In the past, tourists cited for defacing the ancient arena have been handed fines as stiff as 20,000 euros ($21,000).

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This story has been corrected to change the name of Rome mayor to Virginia Raggi not Vriginia Raggi.

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