ColosseumEfrat Herman/Flash90

A British tourist who was filmed carving his name and that of his girlfriend on the wall of the Colosseum in Italy has issued a letter of apology after upsetting history buffs around the world.

Ivan Dimitrov is expected to face a fine of 15,000 euros and up to five years in prison. The Minister of Culture in Italy called the act "offensive towards the whole world."

In a letter sent by Dimitrov to the public prosecutor of Rome, he wrote that he "apologizes from the bottom of his heart and sincerely to Rome, the Italians and the whole world."

Despite the obvious fact that the Colosseum has existed for 1,940 years, the tourist mysteriously wrote that "I confess with great embarrassment that only after the unfortunate incident did I learn that the place is ancient."

Italian media reports that Dimitrov's lawyers hope that the letter will help reduce his sentence.

In 2015, two tourists from the United States were fined following a similar incident, and in 2014, a Russian tourist who engraved the letter "K" was fined 20,000 euros.