Only two weeks after authorities tracked down a man who broke the toes off a 200-year-old plaster mold, they are on the hunt again, this time for a young woman who climbed onto of the bathhouses in Pompeii.
The investigation began when pictures of the woman appeared on social media. She is shown with her phone in hand, standing casually on top of the ancient structure. Some accounts have stated she was taking a selfie.
Police are currently investigating the incident and have yet to identify this woman. Authorities stated the woman not only jeopardized the structural integrity of the building but also put her own life at risk by climbing up there. If caught, she could face a year-long prison sentence as well as a $3,000 fine.
An Editorial in the Courier della Sera newspaper said, “It is never nice to wish ill towards someone, but in this case, it is impossible not to hope that the Carabinieri will identify her and apply the law severely.”
Pompeii has been struggling with inappropriate behavior from tourists for many years now. Often, people are caught chipping away pieces of the mosaics or pockets masonry bits as souvenirs.
This incident comes only a year after the completion of a massive restoration project for the site. Pompeii’s management team was struggling with the overall maintenance and daily costs. Additionally, many of the city’s structures were in a weakened state due to time and earthquakes. In 2010, after the partial collapse of the House of Gladiators, a UNESCO team surveyed the rest of the site and reported many other structures were at risk. Since that incident, officials have been working to keep this piece of history intact.
Though the restoration is now complete, Pompeii still struggles with the high costs of upkeep and a small pool of staff to maintain order. The site’s funding will need to significantly increase if they want to be able to combat future incidents.