Man throws red paint in Roman Trevi fountain to protest film festival

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Saturday, October 20, 2007

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Tourists got an extra treat as the famous fountain turned red.
Image: Diego.

To protest the 15 million budget of the RomeFilmFest, a man yesterday threw a bucket of red paint into the famous Trevi Fountain in Rome, before fleeing the scene. The water in the fountain turned complete red for a while, before technicians were able to cut off the water supply, let the dye wash out, and then replace it with fresh water.

Pamphlets by a previously unknown group called ATM Azionefuturista 2007 were found near the fountain, protesting the budget the festival was awarded. The red fountain was meant as a reference to the red carpet of the festival, which opened last Thursday, October 18. "You wanted just a red carpet - we want a city entirely in vermilion. We who are vulnerable, old, ill, students, workers, we come with vermilion to colour your greyness," the leaflet read.

There is no permanent discoloration of the Baroque fountain or the marble statues depicting the Roman Sea God Neptune on a chariot. Francesco Rutelli, Minister of Culture and Tourism in Italy, called the action "an unacceptable and irresponsible act of vandalism" and said that new anti-vandalism laws were needed.

On April 22, 2007, a 40-year-old woman from Milan swam naked in the fountain, getting her picture into international newspapers. Tourists throw roughly 3000 euro into the Trevi fountain each day, for good luck. The coins are removed at night and have been used to sponsor a supermarket for Rome's needy citizens.


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