Turkish student detained for carving name into 1,800-year-old column
ROME – Doğan News AgencyA Turkish Erasmus student in Rome has been detained for carving his name into one of the 1,800-year-old columns in the historical Imperial Fora on Dec. 20.
According to a report by the daily Corriere della Sera, Turkish student Aziz Multu wrote his name with a coin on the ancient column. He was released after paying a punitive fine of 200 euros.
Accused of causing “severe damage” to the artifact located on Palatine Hill, Multu is set to pay 2,000 euros in an additional indemnity.
“I saw other carved names, and I wanted to write mine. I didn’t know it wasn’t allowed,” said Mutlu in his testimony after tourists in the area notified Italian police about the incident.
Corriere della Sera described Mutlu as a “vandal” who “viciously left a trace on a piece of history” by carving and “eternalizing” his name.
A costly and sensitive restoration work will be required to remove the carving, added the report.
The public square known as the Imperial Fora (Fori Imperiali) was constructed between 46 B.C. and 113 A.D. and were the center of the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire. The column on Palatine Hill in Rome that was defaced by Mutlu is thought to date back to the second century A.D., said the report.
The founders of the city of Rome, Romulus and his twin brother Remus, were found and saved by a she-wolf on Palatine Hill, according to Roman mythology.