California Tourists Deface Colosseum in Rome, Pose for Selfie: Reports

Two 20-something tourists from California were arrested in Rome, Italy, for allegedly engraving their initials into the ancient Colosseum and posing for a selfie, Italian news media reported.

The women allegedly left their tour group on Saturday and used a coin to engrave the letters J and N some 3 inches high into the walls of the ancient World Heritage site, the newspaper La Stampa reported. Then they took a selfie. Finally, they apologized, according to reports.

“We apologize for what we did,” the pair reportedly said. “We regret it, but we did not imagine it was something so serious. We’ll remember for a lifetime.”

Buzzfeed's web address for the story was titled "idiots abroad."

Where the women hail from in California was not immediately known.

Police charged the duo with “aggravated damage on a building of historical and artistic interest” after angry tourists spotted them, Rome newspaper La Repubblica reported.

Carabinieri Capt. Lorenzo Iacobone said Monday that such acts "are extremely serious, and no one considers the damage they are creating."

He told NBC News that because the women have no criminal history, they would likely be fined, or tried in absentia at a later date. For now, he told NBC News, they are free to continue their vacation.

A Russian tourist who carved his initials into the Colosseum in November was handed a four-month suspended sentence and a fine of 20,000 euros.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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