Tourists 'stripping ancient Rome bare'





Rome's ancient monuments are so poorly guarded that tourists are taking away mementos of their visit to the Eternal City with impunity.

Archaeologists said yesterday that Trajan's Forum, in the heart of the city's classical ruins, had been stripped of all the fragments of statues and shards of amphorae that adorned the site until recently.

To highlight the problem, a reporter from Il Messaggero newspaper carried away large boxes full of ancient artefacts during the daytime without being challenged.

An archaeologist working at the site, who asked not to be named, said: "Everything has been taken from Trajan's Forum. The close-circuit television cameras are pointless, and the gates are practically non-existent. Even a child could climb over them.



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