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Canadian student stopped after stealing rock from Colosseum

15-year-old said he wanted souvenir of Rome, caught on video

17 March, 18:10
Canadian student stopped after stealing rock from Colosseum (ANSA) - Rome, March 17 - Police stopped a 15-year-old Canadian tourist who was caught on video stealing a piece of Rome's iconic Colosseum and tucking it into his backpack.

The boy, who was on a school trip, reportedly wanted a souvenir of the 1,900-year-old Flavian Amphitheatre, which has frequently been the victim of souvenir-hunters who all want a piece of history.

Police said that in the youth's backpack, they also found a piece of ceramic which appeared to be quite old.

German tourists have twice made the news when they have been caught with pieces of rock - in one case, a 9-kg chunk - from Ancient Rome monuments.

And an American couple once returned a piece of rock they had hacked off the Colosseum 25 years earlier because they felt guilty about the damage souvenir-hunters can inflict.

"Over the years, I started thinking that if all the visitors to that beautiful monument took a piece of it away with them nothing would be left standing," said one.