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Climate Change Activists Dump Charcoal In Rome’s Trevi Fountain

Climate change activists in Rome, Italy turned the blue water of the Trevi Fountain black with diluted charcoal this past Sunday. 

The group consisted of 10 individuals from the climate activist group Ultima Generazione, which translates to ‘Last Generation.’ The group carried multiple banners, one of which stated “Let’s not pay for fossil campaigns considering what is happening in Emilia Romagna,” specifically referring to northern Italy, where there are multiple floods which some experts have linked to climate change. 

“Our country is dying.”

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Rome police stated that all of the activists were arrested and are facing vandalism charges. 

The counselor for personnel, urban security, local police, and local authorities in the Lazio region, Luisa Regimenti, condemned the recent act in a written statement. 

“This was the umpteenth demonstrative act of eco-vandals that hit a symbol of Rome universally known in the world.”

“[Dying the fountain] was a serious gesture, a worrying escalation that must be stopped with a safety plan for the monuments and the works of art most at risk in Rome and Lazio,” she continued. 

Mayor of Rome Roberto Gualtieri tweeted: “Enough of these absurd attacks on our artistic heritage. Today the #FontanadiTrevi was smeared. Expensive and complex to restore, hoping there is no permanent damage. I invite activists to compete on a confrontational terrain without putting the monuments at risk.”

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Mayor Gualtieri also explained to the local media that in order to correct the dying of the fountain, authorities would have to empty the dyed water and dispose of it: “This will involve a significant intervention. It will cost time, effort, and water.” 

This incident marks the third time this year that a famous Italian fountain was used for activists protesting for action to be taken towards flooding cities. 

In May, charcoal was dumped into the Fountain of Four Rivers in Piazza Navona, and in April, the Barcaccia fountain at the base of the Spanish Steps endured the same fate. The Last Generation has claimed responsibility for all three incidents. 

“Charcoal in the water of the Trevi Fountain, 1 out of 4 houses in Italy is vulnerable to floods. How much longer do we have to wait for those in government to take concrete action?”

Flooding in the northern Italian area has killed at least 14 people and displaced more than 36,000 residents. 

“The climate crisis is affecting territories with increasingly intense extreme events, with risks to people’s lives, and impacts on the environment and the economy. And Italy once again proves unprepared,” said Italian environmentalist association Legambiente in a press release.