Published On: Mon, May 22nd, 2023
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Italy’s iconic Trevi Fountain turns black after eco-warriors pour dye into water | World | News

in have turned the waters of Rome’s world-famous black – forcing the authorities to ditch 300,000 litres of water to purify it. The Ultima Generazione (Last Generation) campaigners struck just before noon yesterday, chanting: “Our country is dying”.

Photographs and footage showed the protesters standing in the tainted waters of the fountain, which attracts millions of visitors annually, before police jumped in to pull them out.

Tourists crowded around the 18th century feature, designed by Nicola Salvi, variously booed and applauded, with many taking pictures.

In a statement, eight protesters from the “let’s not pay for fossil” campaign demanded an immediate end to public subsidies for fossil fuels.

They connected the protest to deadly floods in Italy’s north-east earlier last week, during which 14 people were killed.

One 19-year-old woman, Mattia, said: “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.”

The fountain was later drained in order to be refilled.

Roberto Gualtieri, Rome’s Mahor, said 300,000 litres of water would be “wasted” in the process.

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

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Fortunately, no permanent damage appeared to have been caused, he stressed.

He explained: “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.

“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.”

Italy’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni arrived in Emilia Romagna today to visit areas devastated by floods which have been described as the worst in a century, and triggered after six months’ worth of rainfall in just 36 hours.

In excess of 36,000 people have been left temporarily homeless as a result, with the cost estimated to run into hundreds of millions of euros.

The Superior Institute for Environmental Protection and Research has identified Emilia-Romagna as one of the most at-risk Italian regions for flooding, where both territory and populations face a greater danger of “hazard scenarios” than the rest of the country.

The hardest-hit eastern part of the region, sandwiched between the Apennine mountain chain and the Adriatic Sea, was first hit by intense rain earlier in May. The second downpour tested the ability of drought-parched soil to absorb water, the institute said, adding that high sea elevations and bora winds against the coast may have contributed to the flooding of rivers and tributaries.

Pope Francis sent a telegram of condolences to the people of Emilia-Romagna, assuring them of his prayers, the Vatican said Thursday.

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