Climate activists turn landmark Rome fountain black

Published April 2, 2023
The Barcaccia Fountain at Piazza di Spagna in Rome’s historic centre, after the activists poured black liquid made out of vegetable-based carbon into the water as part of a campaign to raise awareness about climate change.—AFP
The Barcaccia Fountain at Piazza di Spagna in Rome’s historic centre, after the activists poured black liquid made out of vegetable-based carbon into the water as part of a campaign to raise awareness about climate change.—AFP

ROME: Climate activists in Italy turned a Baroque-style fountain at the foot of Rome’s Spanish Steps black on Saturday, in a protest they said evoked an “end of the world” scenario.

Three activists from the anti-climate change organisation Last Generation poured a vegetable-based carbon liquid into the landmark 17th-century fountain, known to Romans as La Barcaccia, before being escorted away by police.

The fountain, in the shape of a boat, was designed by famed Italian sculptor Pietro Bernini.

Popular tradition has it he was inspired by the discovery in 1598 of a boat in the square after it was washed inland by a flooding Tiber river, Last Generation said.

Turning the water black “foreshadows the ‘end of the world’ scenario we are heading for, as we increasingly step on the accelerator: drought alternating with devastating floods, which will put an end to life on Earth, along with heat waves,” it said in a statement.

Last Generation began carrying out peaceful but disruptive protests in Italy last year ahead of the general election, urging politicians from all parties to make climate change their priority. The protests in Italy are part of a series of actions across Europe to focus attention on climate change.

Activists have thrown soup, cake, mashed potatoes or washable paint at heritage and culture sites and artworks in museums.

Published in Dawn, April 2nd, 2023

Opinion

Editorial

More pledges
Updated 25 May, 2024

More pledges

There needs to be continuity in economic policies, while development must be focused on bringing prosperity to the masses.
Pemra overreach
25 May, 2024

Pemra overreach

IT seems, at best, a misguided measure and, at worst, an attempt to abuse regulatory power to silence the media. A...
Enduring threat
25 May, 2024

Enduring threat

THE death this week of journalist Nasrullah Gadani, who succumbed to injuries after being attacked by gunmen, is yet...
IMF’s unease
Updated 24 May, 2024

IMF’s unease

It is clear that the next phase of economic stabilisation will be very tough for most of the population.
Belated recognition
24 May, 2024

Belated recognition

WITH Wednesday’s announcement by three European states that they intend to recognise Palestine as a state later...
App for GBV survivors
24 May, 2024

App for GBV survivors

GENDER-based violence is caught between two worlds: one sees it as a crime, the other as ‘convention’. The ...