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Italian police say the man filmed carving his name on the Colosseum is a tourist living in Britain

ROME (AP) – Italian police on Thursday said they believe the man filmed while engraving his name and that of his apparent girlfriend last week on the ancient Roman Colosseum is a tourist who lives in Britain.

The identification was made using photographic comparisons, Italian Carabinieri said in a press release. The statement did not provide the name of the suspect nor his whereabouts. When reached by phone, police said no further information could be given.

Italian officials have vowed to find and punish the tourist who carved “Ivan+Haley 23” on the wall of the Colosseum in Rome, a crime that has resulted in hefty fines in the past.

The vandal was filmed in the act by an American tourist, Ryan Lutz of Orange, California, who posted the video on social media after he said Colosseum guards failed to show interest in his footage.

It was at least the fourth time this year that such graffiti was reported at the Colosseum, an act that carries fines up to USD15,000 and five years in prison.

Visitors stand in a line to enter the ancient Colosseum, in Rome on Tuesday. PHOTO: AP