Sunday, July 08, 2012

Costumed centurions resist eviction from Colosseum

Two centurions were arrested after attacking Rome police enforcing an order issued in April.

Dressed in breast plates and leather tunics, brothers Manuel and Eugenio Sonnino, threatened police with their fake wooden swords after they were stopped asking tourists for money in exchange for photos next to the Arch of Constantine beside the Colosseum.

The men then tried to flee and attacked police officers after they were captured by a motorcycle police officer.

The brothers, whose passion for boxing apparently rivals their love of ancient history, face charges of violence and resisting arrest.

The incident was the latest in a series of clashes that have occurred outside the country's most popular site since Rome authorities moved to ban the faux gladiators and centurions in April and stop them from harassing tourists for money.

Rome mayor Gianni Alemanno expressed his gratitude to police for the arrests while the man in charge of city tourism, Antonio Gazzellone, said the centurion issue had to be resolved without delay to protect tourists who were endangered by their behaviour.