A movie-like moment was caught on camera when a Saudi tourist drove his sports car down Rome’s iconic Spanish Steps.
According to Newsweek, the incident took place earlier this month. In the footage, the tourist is seen driving down the Spanish Steps, apparently lost and confused. He is also seen coming to a halt halfway down the 135 steps, exiting the car with a torch in order to examine his surroundings more closely. Then, the 37-year-old foreign national, who was not named, drove his rented Maserati off the stairwell and fled the scene.
The Saudi tourist rented the car in Milan and later traveled to Rome. His illegal manoeuvre caused material damage to the monument.
According to CNN, in a statement, Rome’s heritage protection body said that the car caused fractures to the 16th and 29th steps of the right-hand flight rising up from the Spanish Square. It added that some marble fragments were temporarily reattached “in order to allow the immediate reopening for pedestrian transit”.
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Further, the statement also said that the cultural heritage technicians are evaluating the economic damage of the accident, considering they also found “widespread chippings, scratches, abrasions and deposits on both ramps of the second level, attributable to the same event”.
Taking to Facebook, the police informed that the 37-year-old man was caught by the police after returning the car to Milan Malpensa Airport a few days later. With the help of the video, the cops were able to identify the car and wait for him at the car dealership at the airport. The luxury sports car also suffered some damage from the steps, which helped the officials to identify it when the man returned it.
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Now the Saudi tourist has been charged with aggravated damage to cultural heritage and monuments. He will have to pay a fine for the repair of the steps and the sports car.