Tourist defaces ancient Roman wall on vacation, angering Italian authorities

A 27-year-old man from the Netherlands got into hot water with Italian authorities after he allegedly wrote his graffiti signature on an ancient wall in Herculaneum.

Tourist defaces ancient Roman wall on vacation, angering Italian authorities

A young man from the Netherlands was reprimanded by Italian police after he allegedly vandalized a historic Roman wall while on holiday.

The incident took place in Herculaneum, an Ancient Roman town that – like Pompeii – was covered in volcanic ash from the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD.

In a press release published Monday, the Carabinieri, an Italian law enforcement agency, explained that the tourist "signed" the walls of a domus in the town on Sunday night. A domus was a townhouse-like residence for families in antiquity.

The 27-year-old was touring southern Italy on vacation at the time.

"A 27-year-old Dutchman, on holiday in Campania, decided to leave a sign of his passage, writing with a marker on the ancient stuccoes of a house torn from the ashes of Vesuvius," the police's statement read. "A signature, with a black marker, [was] indelible."

"The man was immediately identified and reported for damage and smearing of artistic works."

Italian Culture Minister Gennaro Sangiuliano said on Facebook that the suspect was punished for "damaging and [the] oxidation of [the] artwork."

"Any damage hurts our heritage, our beauty and our identity and that is why it must be punished with the utmost firmness," Sangiuliano said in a statement obtained by Reuters.

This incident is not the first time a tourist in Italy was tempted to leave their mark. Last summer, a British tourist apologized for defacing the Colosseum in Rome.

Ivan Danailov Dimitrov, who was then 31, carved a wall with his name and his fiancée's name, writing: "Ivan+Haley 23."

"I admit with deepest embarrassment that it was only after what regrettably happened that I learned of the monument’s antiquity," a letter he wrote read. "[I apologize to] Italians and the entire world for the damage done to a monument, which is, in fact, heritage of all humanity." 

Fox News Digital reached out to the Carabinieri for additional details.

Reuters contributed to this report.