Rome (CNN) – When in Rome, do not drive your fancy sports car under historic stairs.
This apparently went unnoticed by a man who this week drove his rented Maserati on the Spanish Steps of the city and now faces charges of allegedly causing damage to the landmark, according to police in the Italian capital.
The anonymous 37-year-old Saudi national, who is accused of being behind the wheel, was arrested at Milan Malpensa Airport after the police identified him through the car rental company from images of the vehicle that were recorded by surveillance cameras.
Accused of serious damage to cultural heritage and monuments.
Video of the incident released by the police shows Maserati being driven on the sidewalk over the stairs at night between Tuesday and Wednesday. The car goes down the first step before stopping. Then someone seems to get out of the vehicle and inspect their condition.
The car caused fractures on the 16th and 29th steps of the right flight going up from the Spanish Steps, the Rome Cultural Heritage Organization said in a statement.
Some fragments of marble were temporarily reconnected “to allow immediate opening for pedestrians,” he said.
“Modifications, scratches and abrasions”
Heritage experts say the car broke two steps.
Surveillance of Rome for Cultural Heritage
More work will be required “to repair the damaged steps by replacing the broken sections with travertine blocks that are compatible in color and material characteristics” with the damaged stairs.
Cultural heritage technicians are assessing the financial damage of the accident, noting that they also found “extensive debris, scratches, abrasions and deposits on both ramps of the second level, due to the same incident,” the statement said.
The Spanish Steps are one of the most famous monuments in Rome. They owe their name to the Spanish Embassy in the Holy See which is housed in a palazzo in the square below.
In 2015, the stairs underwent a two-year restoration that cost 1.5 million euros ($ 1.6 million), sponsored by the jewelry house Bulgari, which has its top store in the nearby Via dei Condotti.
The Spanish Steps has served as the setting for scenes in countless films, most notably “Roman Break,” the 1953 film starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck.
Top Image Image: Polizia Roma Capitale