The Washington PostThe Washington Post

It's the summer of bad tourists

By Natalie B. Compton

14 Aug 2023 · 6 min read

informed Summary

  1. This summer, tourists have been caught defacing UNESCO World Heritage sites and damaging unique geological landforms. Most recently, a 19-year-old French tourist was reported to the public prosecutor’s office for carving a heart and initials into the Leaning Tower of Pisa. The Colosseum in Rome and an 8th-century temple in Japan’s Nara prefecture have also been defaced.

On Tuesday morning last week, Italian police officers confronted a 19-year-old tourist at the Leaning Tower of Pisa - not for taking a criminally cliché photo pretending to prop up the tower, but for carving a heart and initials into the priceless structure.

Following her confession at the police station, the French visitor was reported to the public prosecutor's office for damaging a piece of Italian national heritage, according to the police report.

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