Two US Army soldiers caught vandalizing 15th-century Italian monument

A screenshot from CCTV footage purportedly shows the soldiers vandalizing the Palladian Basilica in Vicenza. (City of Vincenza)

Two US Army paratroopers stationed in Italy are in serious trouble after they defaced a historical building with graffiti.

A 15th-century Italian monument, known as the Palladian Basilica and located in Vicenza, was painted with a red paint marker in a graffiti tag style.

The destructive act resulted in the arrests of two members from the Del Din US Military Base [formerly Caserma Ederle].

The 29 and 23-year-old Soldiers involved face three years in an Italian prison and $11,000 in fines.

“They are two males of American nationality serving at the Del Din military base, A.J. Jr., 29 years old, and B.M.E., 23 years old,” a statement from the city of Vicenza read.

The two soldiers were reportedly caught [literally] red-handed with the paint and reported to the authorities.

The graffiti that the soldiers allegedly painted on the basilica. (City of Vincenza)

Located in Northern Italy, the base is home to the 173rd Airborne Brigade.

The nature of the military installation and the units that occupy has historically led to some tension between US Military personnel and Italian nationals.

In the late 2000s, then-Caserma Ederle was frequently targeted by protesters due to a nearby expansion project at Dal Molin Airfield.

Eventually, the installation was allowed to expand, uniting the 173rd Airborne Brigade [which previously had one of its units in Germany].

Vicenza Mayor Giacomo Possamai praised local police for their quick response to the incident.

“I want to, first of all, thank the Local Police and the Carabinieri of the Setaf for identifying the two individuals responsible for defacing the column of the Basilica,” he said, seemingly leaving out the US Army’s Criminal Investigation Division on purpose, despite assisting in the investigation. “It was a vile and serious act that we condemned from the outset.”

According to the Daily Mail, the American paratroopers could potentially face penalties from both Italian and US Army authorities.

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