Members of the Gruppo Storico Romano (Roman Historical Group) dressed as centurions perform at Circus Maximus as they mark the anniversary of the founding of Rome. File picture: Alessandro Bianchi/Reuter

Rome - The fake ancient Roman centurions that routinely harass tourists near the Colosseum and other landmarks of the Eternal City have been banned once again, Rome city council said on Friday.

Previous attempts to outlaw the practice were struck down on technicalities by an administrative court.

The centurions - who usually pose with plastic swords, helmets and shields - were banned from practically all of the historic centre, a statement said.

Transgressors will be fined 400 euros (460 dollars), the council warned.

As well as being an eyesore, the centurions are routinely accused of demanding extortionate amounts of money to pose for pictures and reacting aggressively to insufficient tips. A couple of years ago, a Romanian TV crew filmed them demanding 100 euros for a snap.