Rome (CNN) — When in Rome, do not drive your fancy sports activities automotive down historic stairways.
That recommendation apparently went unheeded by a person who this week drove his rented Maserati down the town’s Spanish Steps and now faces fees for allegedly inflicting harm to the landmark, in keeping with police within the Italian capital.
The unnamed 37-year-old Saudi nationwide accused of being behind the wheel was apprehended at Milan’s Malpensa airport after police recognized him by means of the automotive rental firm from photographs of the car caught by surveillance cameras.
He is been charged with aggravated harm to cultural heritage and monuments.
Video footage of the incident launched by police reveals the Maserati being pushed into the pedestrian zone above the steps in a single day between Tuesday and Wednesday. The automotive descends the primary flight of steps earlier than halting. Somebody is then seen rising from the car and inspecting its plight.
The automotive triggered fractures to the sixteenth and twenty ninth steps of the right-hand flight rising up from Spanish Sq., Rome’s heritage safety physique stated in an announcement.
Some marble fragments have been quickly reattached “with a view to enable the speedy reopening for pedestrian transit,” it stated.
‘Chippings, scratches and abrasions’
Heritage specialists say the automotive fractured two steps.
Rome’s Superintendence for Cultural Heritage
Extra work shall be vital “to revive the broken steps by changing the fractured parts, with travertine blocks that, by way of shade and materials traits, are appropriate” with the broken steps.
Cultural heritage technicians are evaluating the financial harm of the accident, contemplating that in addition they discovered “widespread chippings, scratches, abrasions, and deposits on each ramps of the second stage, attributable to the identical occasion,” the assertion stated.
The Spanish Steps are amongst Rome’s most celebrated monuments. They owe their title to the Spanish Embassy on the Holy See that’s hosted in a palazzo within the sq. under.
In 2015, the steps underwent a two-year restoration that costing €1.5 million ($1.6 million), sponsored by jewellery home Bulgari, which has its flagship retailer within the close by By way of dei Condotti.
The Spanish Steps have served because the backdrop for scenes in numerous movies, most notably “Roman Vacation,” the 1953 film starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck.
Prime picture credit score: Polizia Roma Capitale