• Thu. May 25th, 2023

Shock pictures show moment Rome’s Trevi Fountain turns black in front of tourists

Rome’s Trevi Fountain has been turned black.

Climate activists in Italy poured a vegetable-based carbon liquid into the famous fountain that millions of people visit every year about 11.30am on Sunday, local time and chanted “our country is dying”.

Photos showed the protesters standing in the fountain’s dark water with signs before police officers waded through the water to remove them.

Tourists packed in around the fountain and snapped photographs, applauded or booed.

Anti-climate change activist group Ultima Generazione (Last Generation) said in a statement eight protesters from the “let’s not pay for fossil” campaign were there to demand an immediate end to public subsidies for fossil fuels.

They linked the protest to deadly floods in the country’s northeast where 14 people were killed.

“I’ve decided to do civil disobedience because the horrible tragedy experienced in these days in Emilia Romagna is a warning of the dark future that awaits humanity, made up of drought alternating with increasingly frequent and violent floods,” a 19-year-old woman named Mattia was quoted to have said of the protest.

The fountain was drained of its water on Sunday to be refilled.

Rome Mayor Roberto Gualtieri said 300,000 litres of water would be “wasted” to do so.

“Thanks to the timely intervention of the local Rome Capital Police they [the protesters] were stopped immediately and were able to pour only two of the many jars they had with them,” he said in a statement on Facebook.

Mr Gualtieri said there didn’t seem to be any permanent damage.

“The charcoal fortunately appears to be deposited on the surface of the waterproof bathtub and not on the porous marble, so it will probably be able to be removed completely,” he said.

“But the risk of worse damage was once again significant. I reiterate, that this is not the right way to conduct a battle for the environment and against climate change.”

The protest came as Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni arrived in Emilia Romagna to visit areas devastated by floods described as the worst in a century after six months worth of rains fell in 36 hours.

Over 36,000 people have been displaced by the disaster, with costs in the hundreds of millions of euros.

– With AFP

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