Several activists against climate change threw a black liquid into the water of the monumental Trevi Fountain in Rome, one of the city’s symbols, this Sunday. In protest, they unfurled a banner demanding an end to investment in fossil fuels.
The liquid thrown into the water of this monument is probably liquid carbon, the same used in other similar works such as the Roman Barccia fountain in the Spanish Steps or the Four Rivers by Gian Lorenzo Bernini in the Piazza Navona.
A dozen youths wade into the waters of the baroque jewel to warn that Italy is dying because of the climate crisis. He cited the floods in Emilia-Romagna in northern Italy as one of its consequences. This fact has resulted in 14 deaths and displaced 36,600.
The police rushed to the spot to arrest them, wading into the water to pull them out one by one. During this time tourists visiting the monument reacted with indignation and booing to his action.
Rome’s mayor, Roberto Gualtieri, called on his social networks to end “these absurd attacks on our artistic heritage”, such as the legendary Fontana, which completed its restoration and cleaning in 2015 after a year and a half of work.
«Today the Trevi Fountain has been vandalized. Your recovery will be expensive and complicated and we hope there is no permanent damage. I invite the activists to measure themselves in the field of debate without risking the monuments,” the councilor asked.
The Última Generación group claimed responsibility for the action on its Instagram profile. He also called for “the blocking of public subsidies for fossil fuels and a focus on the climate collapse we are headed for.”
The Trevi Fountain isn’t the first victim of attacks from climate activists
This is not the first time that these activists have attacked heritage with such actions.
On 1 April, he poured black dye into the historic Barcaccia Fountain in Rome’s Spanish Steps, built between 1626 and 1629. Earlier, on 17 March, two other youths desecrated the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, the seat of the town hall, and perished. Being detained by Mayor Dario Nardella himself.
Soup was thrown at a Van Gogh painting at a temporary exhibition in Rome last November. He also painted Maurizio Cattelan’s “The Finger” in front of the Milan Stock Exchange, in addition to the equestrian sculpture of Vittorio Emanuele II in front of that city’s Duomo or Cathedral.
Two activists are on trial in a Vatican court for damaging the base of this Laocoon sculpture with glue during a protest.
The Italian government has approved a bill that would punish perpetrators of acts of vandalism against works of art, monuments or heritage with fines of up to 60,000 euros or criminal sanctions.