Video footage showing German tourists scaling the walls of the Colosseum has sparked concerns about security measures at Italy’s famous landmarks.
Two people are seen in the film jumping over fencing surrounding the iconic Flavian Amphitheatre at night. They then climb to the top of the ancient landmark and proceed to scale down its 48m-high walls, using what appears to be professional abseiling equipment.
A sign saying “no entry” is clearly seen in the video and further shots show the tourists climbing on scaffolding surrounding parts of the building.
The video was posted to YouTube at the end of May but has recently gone viral. It was uploaded by Flavius Vasily, who is part of a group called Visual Enemies who describe themselves as an “urban collective uniting athletes and cinematographers”.
“Getting caught is no reason to stop us doing what we love. Climbing on high buildings or exploring the subway system is our passion,” the group adds.
Since the video was uploaded, some Rome residents have raised concerns about security measures at the 2,000 year-old site.
“This wouldn’t happen on Brandenburg Gate. Why? Because the police would come and arrest them two minutes later. In Rome? The police?” wrote one person in a YouTube comment.
One Twitter user wryly commented, “excellent security”, after seeing the video; while Facebook user Alexa Kolosimo commented: "I kindly inform you that you have violated the Italian Law regarding the protection of Antiquities. Moreover, this video is dangerous since it could give inspiration to nasty people. In Italy there are laws that everybody, foreigners included, should respect."
Responding to concerns, Mr Vasily said in an email reported by the Guardian: "The lack of police seems to be a big problem for [local] people, but even more police would not have [meant] us getting caught.
"We also climbed on the Cologne Cathedral after the New Year’s Eve sexual assaults and during Cologne carnival. There were more than 2,500 police officers the day we climbed on the top. And they didn’t notice us at all."
Following a recent string of terror attacks in France and Germany, Italy’s terror level is understood to be set at “level 2” – the highest possible in the absence of a direct attack, the Local reports.
Italy's Interior Minister Angelino Alfano called an emergency meeting of the national anti-terrorism committee in the wake of the 14 July atrocity in Nice, when a Tunisian man killed 84 people and injured 300 more when he ploughed a lorry into crowds celebrating Bastille Day.
Mr Alfano has said Italy will be intensifying its controls at the French border following the attack in southern France.
Italian judges have been particularly stringent in the past over vandalism at the Colosseum. In November 2014 a Russian tourist was fined €20,000 (£16,000) and handed a four-year suspended sentence for carving a giant letter ‘K’ into the walls of the ancient Amphitheatre.
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