Driver Took Rented Maserati Down Spanish Steps: Police

Saudi national faces charge over damage to Rome landmark
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted May 13, 2022 4:35 PM CDT
Driver Faces Charges After Rental Damaged Spanish Steps
The Spanish Steps in Rome, before a man drove down them.   (Getty/sandrixroma)

(Newser) – A Saudi national has been charged after police said he drove his rental car down Rome's Spanish Steps, causing damage to the city landmark. Police said the 37-year-old man, whom they did not identify, took a Maserati down the steps this week; surveillance video shows the driver stopping after the first flight to get out of the car and assess the situation. Police later picked him up at Milan's airport, CNN reports, after identifying him through the car rental company.

The damage to the steps is still being assessed. Rome's heritage protection body reported fractures in the 16th and 29th steps. Some marble pieces were reattached temporarily so the steps could be reopened, a statement said, before permanent repairs can be made. The organization also reported "widespread chippings, scratches, abrasions, and deposits on both ramps of the second level" caused by the car. The steps, named for the Spanish embassy to the Vatican in the square at the bottom, underwent a $1.6 million restoration within the past decade, per CNN. The charge the man faces is aggravated damage to cultural heritage and monuments. The steps have appeared in many films, including Roman Holiday, with Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck. (Read more Spanish Steps stories.)

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