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Italy planning five-figure fines for monument and art vandalism

Culture Minister Gennaro Sangiuliano pushing for stiff, five-figure fines on vandals who damage monuments
Culture Minister Gennaro Sangiuliano pushing for stiff, five-figure fines on vandals who damage monuments Copyright AP
Copyright AP
By David MouriquandAP
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The Italian government approved proposed legislation championed by the culture minister that would impose fines starting at €10,000 and as high as €60,000 for those who vandalise artworks or cultural sites

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Italy has announced that it will push for a law imposing five-figure fines on vandals who damage monuments or other cultural sites, to help pay for the repairs and clean-up.

At a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday 11 April, the government approved proposed legislation championed by the culture minister that would impose fines starting at €10,000 and as high as €60,000.

Premier Giorgia Meloni's right-wing government has a comfortable majority in Parliament, so the proposal is expected to be easily approved and adopted into law.

Culture Minister Gennaro Sangiuliano said that it recently cost the government €40,000 to clean the façade of the 15th-century Palazzo Madama, which is home to the Italian Senate, after it was vandalized. Just days ago, activists pressing for more action on climate change dumped black dye into the waters of a monumental fountain sculpted by Bernini at the foot of the Spanish Steps.

“The attacks on monuments and artistic sites produce economic damage to all,'' the minister said in a statement. 

”To clean it up, the intervention of highly specialized personnel and the use of very costly machines are needed,'' he said. “Whoever carries out these acts must assume also the financial responsibility.”

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