The Bristol fitness instructor who carved his name on the wall of the Colosseum asks the Italian for forgiveness

A UK-based fitness instructor seen by millions around the world defacing the 2,000-year-old Colosseum has apologized to police for his wanton vandalism.

Ivan Dimitrov, 27, who also goes by the name Ivan Hawkins, has been identified exclusively by MailOnline, along with his girlfriend Hayley Bracey, 33, after an outraged tourist filmed him carving their names into the ancient brickwork and told him published online.

The couple – who live in Bristol – were in the Italian capital Rome as part of a three-week European tour and were located in Bulgaria on Friday by police after being identified through CCTV footage and hotel records.

Major Roberto Martina, of the paramilitary carabinieri, told MailOnline: Colleagues spoke to the man and he expressed his apologies and sincere remorse for what he did.

He had contacted us after we secured his cell phone from hotel records and left him a message to call us. He was naturally concerned about the legal implications, and these were all explained to him.

Dimitov was filmed carving his and his girlfriend's name on the wall of the Colosseum with a set of keys

Dimitov was filmed carving his and his girlfriend’s name on the wall of the Colosseum with a set of keys

In the video, the English-speaking man filming the footage said to the other, 'Are you serious man?  This is fucking man.  Stupid asshole

Other users were quick to comment, sharing their outrage and speculating that

In the video, Ryan approached the man believed to be Ivan: ‘Are you serious? This is fucking man. Stupid asshole

Ivan Dimitrov (left) was in Rome with his longtime girlfriend Hayley Bracey (right) when he sculpted

Ivan Dimitrov (left) was in Rome with his long-term girlfriend Hayley Bracey (right) when he sculpted “Ivan & Hayley 23” in the 2,000-year-old Colosseum in the Italian capital

We told him that a report would be sent to his UK address and then the matter would go to trial, probably early next year and he could apologize in person to the court.

We didn’t ask him why he did it, he’ll be a judge to hear him, we just told him he was a suspect and part of the investigation. The girl is not a party to any complaint so she is an innocent party as far as we are concerned even though she could technically be seen as an accomplice.

But again, it will be up to the prosecutor to decide once our investigation is complete, which shouldn’t take too long as the main piece of evidence is the original video of the accident.

He told us he was very upset by what he had done, and kept apologizing for it, I think he was concerned about the consequences of a possible trial and we explained that he could be jailed for two to five years and fined up to 15,000 Euros .

Bulgarian Dimitrov, who runs his own fitness company and is a part-time delivery boy, was filmed last week by California vacationer Ryan Lutz, carving the words Ivan and Hayley 23 into the stonework with a set of keys.

Furious Ryan posted the video online and can be heard saying to Dimitrov: Are you serious man? This is a fucking man. Stupid asshole.’

As she challenges him, Dimitrov simply turns away and smiles before continuing to carve his name and that of his sports nutritionist girlfriend Hayley on the wall.

In a press release, the Carabinieri stated: Following the investigations, subsequent to the complaint presented by the Colosseum Park Authority, the Carabinieri of the Command of Rome Piazza Venezia, coordinated by the Public Prosecutor of Rome, have identified, through the traditional investigations and the confrontation photographic, the person seriously suspected of having engraved his name and that of his partner, at the Colosseum, filming the scene, then published on social networks.

The Carabinieri have ascertained that it is a couple, man and woman, residing in England.

The Colosseum stood tall for nearly 2,000 years

The Colosseum stood tall for nearly 2,000 years

Bulgarian-born Dimitrov is pictured with Hayley, who he lives with in the UK

Bulgarian-born Dimitrov is pictured with Hayley, who he lives with in the UK

Geographer Ryan Lutz, 38, filmed the tourist carving names into the stone walls of the 1,937-year-old building using a set of keys

Geographer Ryan Lutz, 38, filmed the tourist carving names into the stone walls of the 1,937-year-old building using a set of keys

Other tourists have repeatedly wreaked havoc in Rome, such as in 2018, when two British tourists stripped naked and posed for photos in a fountain at one of Rome's most famous landmarks

Other tourists have repeatedly wreaked havoc in Rome, such as in 2018, when two British tourists stripped naked and posed for photos in a fountain at one of Rome’s most famous landmarks

It should be noted that the proceeding is in the preliminary investigation phase, therefore the suspect must consider himself innocent until the final sentence is pronounced.

Culture Minister Gennaro Sangiuliano said: I am grateful to the Carabinieri for promptly identifying the alleged perpetrator of the uncivilized and absurd act committed at the Colosseum.

An act that has offended all those in the world who appreciate the value of archaeology, monuments and history.

Now I hope that justice will take its course by rigorously applying the laws. If it is a trial, the Ministry of Culture will appear as a civil party.

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Image Source : www.dailymail.co.uk

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