Rome’s Colosseum burgled after key cut in warning sign

The Colosseum is a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Tourists have broken into Rome’s Colosseum and drunk beer in its marble halls after cutting a hole in a warning sign.

They then fled down stairs and through a tunnel, police said.

The tourists allegedly squeezed into an empty cellar through a crack at the top of the rampart on Wednesday evening.

Photographs show them placing a pack of beer on the bar in the front hall, drinking from bottles placed around a barricade of broken tiles and drinking from a barrel on a sunken marble floor.

One said to have been captured on camera is being hunted.

The tourists then used a rope to get out of the building and through a baroque tunnel built on the roof.

The ancient arena has been the scene of fighting, executions and political demonstrations.

The group – from central Europe – were arrested on Thursday evening, police said.

They said the tourist’s actions had been “deliberate and premeditated”.

The British Heritage Memorial Fund (PHMF) said: “Rome is the epitome of great Renaissance architecture, but unfortunately, as we have seen over the last few weeks, that architecture is also the best victim of behaviour like this.”

The exact size of the landmark is unclear. It is the largest monument in Europe, covering around 890,000 sq metres.

The Colosseum is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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