The waters of Rome’s Trevi Fountain, one of Italy’s top tourist attractions, turned red on Thursday (October 26) after a man dumped dye into the main pool, a city official said.
Italian activist Graziano Cecchini pulled the same stunt 10 years ago. He insisted that the dye wouldn’t harm the fountain and was intended as a protest against Rome’s ‘corruption and filth.’
According to witnesses, Cecchini managed to climb onto the side of the fountain and pour the dye in, turning the Trevi pool into a murky red lake. Police escorted him from the scene.
In a statement, Cecchini said the protest was a “cry that Rome isn’t dead, that it’s alive and ready to return to be the capital of art, life and Renaissance.”
Cecchini was also responsible for sending thousands of colored plastic balls down Rome’s Spanish Steps in 2008.
By Thursday afternoon, authorities had turned off the Trevi’s hydraulics and were draining the fountain pool to prevent any damage from the dye.
The fountain, where tossing a coin into the pool is supposed by superstition to guarantee one’s return to the eternal city, is a big tourist attraction in Rome.
Actress Anita Ekberg famously frolicked in the fountain’s pool in the 1960 film “La Dolce Vita”.