Rome mayor slams latest “senseless” stunt.
Italian climate activists poured black liquid into the waters of Bernini’s Fountain of the Four Rivers in Rome’s central Piazza Navona on Saturday afternoon.
The four activists, from the Ultima Generazione group, shouted slogans against fossil fuels as they dyed the fountain black with a vegetable-based carbon liquid.
The protesters were met with a sea of insults and whistles from Roman onlookers and tourists before being dragged out of the 17th-century fountain and taken away by police.
“Our future is as black as this water”. Climate activists pour black liquid into the waters of Bernini’s Fountain of the Four Rivers in Piazza Navona, amid a sea of insults from onlookers, before being dragged out by Rome police.pic.twitter.com/YIDuSuhDR1
— Nemo (@nemo.guide) May 6, 2023
The city’s mayor Roberto Gualtieri on Twitter slammed the stunt as “another senseless gesture defacing the monuments of Rome”, adding: “It is not by putting the artistic heritage at risk that the environment is saved!”
The mayor ordered the fountain to be cleaned immediately and specialist technicians were carrying out checks for any permanent damage to the monument which was designed by Bernini in 1651.
Ancora un insensato gesto di sfregio sui monumenti di #Roma. Questa volta imbrattata la magnifica fontana dei Quattro Fiumi a #PiazzaNavona. Le lotte giuste diventano sbagliate se danneggiano i beni comuni. Non è mettendo a rischio il patrimonio artistico che si salva l’ambiente! pic.twitter.com/XM0CMUN8mf
— Roberto Gualtieri (@gualtierieurope) May 6, 2023
The incident – the latest in a series of similar actions – came a few days after climate activists stopped traffic on a central Rome street with a topless protest.
The Italian government recently proposed a law to make those who damage cultural landmarks pick up the bill for the work required to restore the monuments they deface.
The Italian culture minister Gennaro Sangiuliano announced the move after climate activists poured black liquid into the waters of the 17th-century Barcaccia fountain at the Spanish Steps in Rome.