The tourists used a coin to make their carvings, scratching a ''J'' and an "N" into the amphitheatre walls, which they then took a selfie with. For their vandalism, the women will face a judge and a penalty.

Photo by DAVID ILIFF. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0 Photo by DAVID ILIFF. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0

The Colosseum is well signed in English that damaging the ancient site is prohibited.

A spokesperson for Special Superintendency for the Archaeological Heritage of Rome commented:

"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."

"It's not an original wall but it's nevertheless antique."

"The security is not inadequate from the point of view of terrorism, but the shortage of personnel and the great mass of tourists is a problem, also for other sites."

The last person caught defacing the site was a Russian tourist, who faced four months in prison as well as a €20 000 fine for their carvings. The perpetrator was unable to pay the fine.

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