Rome’s iconic Trevi Fountain was stained black by climate protesters from the group “Ultima Generazione” (Last Generation) on May 21, 2023. The activists sought to bring attention to what they claim are government subsidies for fossil fuels, as stated on their website.
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Brandishing banners stating “We won’t pay for fossil fuels,” the members discharged what they claimed was vegetable charcoal into the fountain, at the foot of Rome’s famous Spanish Steps. Their chants of “our country is dying” echoed through the air, reflecting their environmental claims.
Rapid response from the police led to the removal of the protesters from the fountain, a spectacle witnessed by a mixed crowd of locals and tourists. Ultima Generazione is notorious for its radical acts of civil disobedience and vandalism throughout Italy, including defacing treasured artworks and blockading major highways.
#BREAKING: Climate activists have poured black dye into the historic Trevi Fountain, in Rome.
These acts of vandalism can potentially damage the white stone, and have been roundly condemned throughout Italy.
Will there be prosecution by the government?
— Bree A Dail (@breeadail) May 21, 2023
This demonstration was linked by the group to the recent devastating floods in northern Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region. The activists assert that flooding threatens one in four Italian homes.