Tourists have been caught covering a historical Italian landmark with football graffiti just months after the Colosseum was vandalised.
Two German men have been detained by police after they allegedly used black spray paint to write ‘DKS 1860’ on the 460-year-old columns of Florence’s iconic Vasari Corridor.
The corridor connects the city’s treasured Uffizi Gallery and the Pitti Palace and was originally built for the powerful Medici family.
The disrespectful act is understood to be a reference to Germany’s division-three side 1860 Munich, local media reported.
It is the latest in a spate of senseless vandalism plaguing Italy’s beloved historical landmarks. In June, two tourists etched their names into the wall of the 1,937-year-old Colosseum.
German tourists have been arrested after being caught spraying ‘DKS 1860’ on the 460-year-old columns of Florence’s iconic Vasari Corridor
The vandals were caught on CCTV scaling a wall by the Renaissance walkway on August 22 before spraying graffiti on the landmark
Using a set of keys, Ivan Dimitrov, who was later revealed by MailOnline as a fitness instructing living in Bristol, can be seen scratching ‘Ivan + Hayley 23’ into one of the bricks before grinning at the camera.
Following Tuesday’s attack on the Vasari Corridor, Italian police tracked down the vandals after CCTV footage showed them scaling a wall by the Renaissance walkway on August 22.
The pair were arrested by police at a holiday apartment, where they were staying with nine other tourists from Germany. Cans of black spray paint and clothes believed to have been worn by the men on the night were seized by officers.
Florence mayor Dario Nardella said on social media: ‘This morning, we woke up to this shameful vandalistic act on the columns of the Vasari Corridor.
‘We have immediately initiated an investigation with the municipal police and contacted the Carabinieri.
‘We will use all available cameras and tools to identify these despicable individuals and punish them appropriately.
‘We have informed the Superintendent’s Office and spoken with the Uffizi Gallery management, whom we thank for assuring us that they will promptly intervene for the removal and cleaning.
‘Alia [law enforcement agency] is mobilised to conduct all necessary assessments and potential interventions. Anyone who damages cultural heritage commits a very serious offence.’
Locals have been left stunned by the disrespectful behaviour of the tourists who defaced the corridor that connects the city’s treasured Uffizi Gallery and the Pitti Palace
A bystander filmed Mr Dimitrov, a fitness instructor from Bristol, as he carved the names into the stone walls of the 1,937-year-old building using a set of keys, on June 23
Uffizi director Eike Schmidt has also issued a statement saying: ‘I unequivocally condemn the defacement of the pillars of the Vasari Corridor that occurred last night.
‘Since the discovery of this detestable act at dawn, the Carabinieri have been analyzing video recordings and following various related leads.
‘Clearly, this is not the whim of a drunk but a premeditated act, and I remind you that in cases like this, the United States provides for up to five years of imprisonment.
‘Enough with symbolic punishments and fanciful excuses! Here, the strong fist of the law is needed!’
The Vasari Corridor connects the Uffizi art museum – Italy’s third-most visited attraction – with the Pitti Palace and the Boboli Gardens.
It was originally built for the Grand Duke of Florence, Cosimo I de’ Medici, so he could travel between his home in the Pitti Palace and the government buildings in the Palazzo Vecchio without meeting riff-raff.
There has been a long history of tourists behaving badly while on holiday visiting the historic and beautiful destinations of Italy.
And with tourism now back to pre-pandemic levels, the havoc appears to be in full flow again with even more chance for tourists to cause chaos around the ancient landmarks.
Whether it’s defacing and desecrating ancient relics, or causing a public nuisance, many have even faced fines for their antics and have faced the wrath of the Italian authorities.
In August last yea two Australians were caught whizzing along Venice’s Grand Canal on £20,000 electric hydrofoils while in March one tourist belly-flopped 30ft into the city’s iconic canals.