Tuesday, July 01, 2008

College student warned for graffiti on historical Italian cathedral

Gifu City Women's College has handed a strict warning to a student who drew graffiti on the Cathedral Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence, Italy, during an overseas study tour, college officials said.

The historic center of Florence, including the cathedral, is inscribed on the U.N. Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization's World Heritage List.

The church said it would not demand payment for restoration if it received an apology, so the student and a college department chairman both sent apologies in English.

College officials said that the a first-year student in the college's Department of Design for Contemporary Life wrote the date, her name, and the names of five friends with an oil-based marker on the marble wall of a lookout at the cathedral on Feb. 18. The student also reportedly wrote an abbreviation of the name of the college.

The incident was uncovered after a Japanese tourist contacted the college on March 12 via e-mail. The college president reportedly issued a strict verbal warning to the student on March 14.