Typical? American Tourists Busted For Defacing Roman Colosseum

According to the U.K. Daily Mail, two American tourists have been arrested for carving initials into the Colosseum in Rome.  The Guardian does not say whether they were arrested.

The women, 21 and 25, carved a J and an N into a brick wall on the first floor of the west side of the Colosseum.  After carving the eight-inch high letters, the women posed together for a selfie.

The women – just two of the six million tourists that flock to the Colosseum every year – used a coin to engrave the letters, La Stampa reported.  Other tourists saw what had happened and alerted security.

Police charged the women with “aggravated damage on building of historical and artistic interest,” according to Republica.

After they were caught, the women apologized to Piazza Dante police and the police captain.

They said: ‘We apologize for what we did. We regret it but we did not imagine it was something so serious.

‘We’ll remember for a lifetime.’

The Guardian states that the section they carved on dates back to the 1800s – a key period of restoration.  A spokesman for the Special Superintendency for the Archaeological Heritage of Rome is quoted as saying: “It’s not an original wall but it’s nevertheless antique,” according to The Daily Mail.

With 6 million visitors annually and ever-increasing staff cuts, policing the site has become a major problem.

The Americans’ actions come a little over three months after a Russian tourist was caught carving a 25cm letter into the Colosseum. Busted, the 42-year-old was given a four-month suspended prison sentence and a €20,000 fine, although he has not paid the penalty due to lack of funds.

The women were charged with 'aggravated damage on a building of historical and artistic interest' on SaturdayC

The Russian was reportedly the fifth tourist seen defacing the Colosseum in 2014. The others were from Australia, Brazil, and Canada, according to The Guardian.

The Colosseum was built in the first century AD and is a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization World Heritage Site.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2985434/California-tourists-arrested-carving-initials-Colosseum-Rome.html#ixzz3TuHeJD8C

The Pope Offers Free Haircuts To Homeless People

Sources claim that along with Catholic mass and words from the pope, St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome will also soon be offering haircuts and shaves for the homeless.

Starting in mid-February, barbers in Rome will offer volunteer snipping services for those without permanent shelter every Monday. That’s the day in Italy where barbers and hairdressers close shop.

The move comes as the Vatican has almost finished installing showers and toilets for the homeless among the towering colonnades that wrap around St. Peter’s Square. A dozen other churches throughout Rome have followed after the Vatican announced the move.

The program will rely heavily on donated razors, scissors, and other equipment, much of which has already been given to the Holy See.

Pope Francis’s Almoner Konrad Krajewski, the Vatican’s point person on giving to the poor, was inspired to launch the initiatives after a homeless man named Franco initially declined to have dinner with him.

Franco explained it was because he smelled and had no where to get clean. “Here no one starves to death,” he told Krajewski. “You can find a sandwich every day. But there is no place to use the toilet and wash.”


Secular Talk

Ebola Patient In Italy Gets Experimental Treatment

In this photo provided by the Italian Air Force, a doctor who has tested positive for the Ebola virus lies on a stretcher encased in a plastic seal, at the Pratica di Mare military airport near Rome, Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014. The Italian health ministry says an Italian doctor working in Sierra Leone has tested positive for the Ebola virus and has been transferred to Rome for treatment. The ministry said in a statement that the doctor, who works for the non-governmental organization Emergency, will be taken Monday for treatment at the Lazzaro Spallanzani National Institute for Infectious Diseases in Rome. It is Italy's first confirmed case of Ebola. (AP Photo/Italian Air Force)

According to the AP, an Italian doctor who contracted Ebola while working in Sierra Leone arrived in Italy and is being treated with the same experimental drugs used in the U.S. and other European countries.

Rome doctors declined to identify the antiviral drug used for treatment, though they said the drug has been used before in the U.S. and Europe.

The doctor, whose name wasn’t released, is in his 50s and has Italy’s first confirmed case of Ebola.  He arrived at a Rome military air base early Tuesday and was transported in a hazard-safe equipped ambulance to Lazzaro Spallanzani hospital, a Rome hospital that specializes in infectious diseases.

His condition is ’’stable,’’ doctor Emanuele Nicastri said at a press conference at the hospital. ’’He’s conscious and collaborating’’ with the medical team.

More than 15,000 people have been infected with Ebola and 5,420 have died, according to the World Health Organization.

Mussolini’s Bunker Open To The Public

Mussolini’s bunker just opened for the public.

According to the AP:  “Mussolini had the bunker made by encapsulating the 19th-century villa’s underground kitchen area in reinforced concrete. Before that, the Mussolini family would have had to dash across the villa’s sprawling lawn and gardens to reach the wine-cellar shelter in a separate structure if air raid sirens sounded.

“Work began in 1942 to expand and fortify the bunker. Archaeologist Giuseppe Granata said Mussolini had lamented in writing that the updated bunker was running behind schedule and over cost. It is not known if the dictator ever used the bunker. By the time Allied bombings hit Rome, the dictator had been deposed and, under Nazi protection, was leading a puppet state in northern Italy. In 1945, partisans captured and executed him.”

According to the BBC:  “A World War Two bunker used by the Italian fascist leader Benito Mussolini is being opened to the public for the first time.”

It used to be a wine cellar under the grounds of what was his private villa in Rome.  However, states the BBC, by the time Allied bombings hit the Italian capital, Mussolini had been deposed as dictator.

The Times of Israel states that a noble family had previously lived in the villa before Mussolini moved in, and the shelter was constructed in 1940.  The bunker also has anti-gas, double steel doors.

The Times of Israel:  “Visitors at a preview Saturday saw a rusting contraption to purify air in case of a gas attack. A label on the apparatus was dated November 1940 in Roman numerals, in keeping with Mussolini’s style of evoking the ancient Roman empire’s glory days as inspiration for his own rule.”

According to The Times, the tours will run on weekends starting Oct. 31, and they will also show visitors a separate underground bunker that was built for Mussolini directly under the villa.

http://www.timesofisrael.com/mussolinis-bomb-shelter-opens-to-public/#ixzz3HMDue1P8