Dubai: A Saudi man was arrested in Italy and charged with aggravated damage to cultural monuments after he drove a rented Maserati Levente down Rome’s iconic Spanish Steps, Italian media reported.
The 37-year-old man was apprehended at Milan’s Malpensa airport after police tracked his identity using CCTV videos and contacting the car hire company he used.
In a statement published on Facebook, Italian police said that the man, driving a Maserati in the night between Tuesday and Wednesday, damaged the Trinity dei Monti staircase before fleeing.
Police said that thanks to the additional checks carried out by the operators, with the contribution of the Milan-based car rental company, it was possible to identify the driver. He was stopped at the moment of delivery of the car at Malpensa airport, with the Collaboration of the Border Police.
The man was charged with aggravated damage to cultural and monumental assets, police said.
CCTV cameras showed the Saudi driving Maserati through the pedestrian zone of Trinità dei Monti, at the top of the Spanish Steps. The car descends the first flight of steps before halting. Someone is then seen emerging from the vehicle and inspecting its plight.
Damage was caused to the 16th and 29th steps of the right-hand flight rising up from Spanish Square, Rome’s heritage protection body said in a statement.
Some marble fragments were temporarily reattached “in order to allow the immediate reopening for pedestrian transit but further work will be needed to restore the 300-year-old steps,” it added.