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Activists wade into Rome’s Trevi Fountain to warn of the ‘black future that awaits mankind'

Rome's iconic Trevi fountain was dyed black on Sunday by climate activists
Rome's iconic Trevi fountain was dyed black on Sunday by climate activists Copyright AFP
Copyright AFP
By Euronews Green with AP & AFP
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Activists disrupted the tourist hotspot to protest the government’s inaction on climate change.

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Climate activists in Italy turned Rome's famous Trevi Fountain black on Sunday.

"Our country is dying!" the activists shouted, as tourists visiting the fountain in Rome's historic centre took photos, applauded or booed.

The protest was carried out by European activist group Last Generation (Ultima Generazione) who said the floods that have killed 14 people in the country's northeast were "a warning".

The activists climbed into the landmark fountain and poured a vegetable-based carbon liquid into the water.

Within 20 minutes the protestors were pulled out and escorted away by police. Police also confiscated their banners, adorned with slogans protesting government-funded fossil fuels.

Why did activists protest at the Trevi fountain?

Last Generation pointed to a report by the Bank of Italy earlier this month that found 23 per cent of Italian houses were at risk of flooding, at a potential cost of €3 billion yearly.

"While the climate crisis knocks at the door, breaking riverbanks and flinging fish into the streets, the Italian government cuts resources for soil protection" and fails on climate change mitigation, the group said.

The protest came as Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni arrived in Emilia Romagna to visit areas devastated by the floods, described as ‘the worst in a century after six months’ worth of rain fell in 36 hours.

Mattia, 19, who took part in the protest said he did so "because the horrible tragedy happening now in Emilia Romagna is a forewarning of the black future that awaits mankind".

Will the black liquid damage the Trevi fountain?

The environmental group said the carbon liquid used for the protest did not damage the fountain.

But Rome mayor Roberto Gualtieri said the clean-up would "cost time, effort and water, because this is a fountain which uses recirculating water".

"We now have to empty it, and throw away 300,000 litres of water," he said.

Who are the Last Generation?

Environmental activists ‘Last Generation’ began carrying out peaceful but disruptive protests in Italy last year ahead of the country’s general election, urging politicians from all parties to make climate change a priority.

In the past, the group has hurled paint at Milan’s famed La Scala opera house, thrown food at the glass protecting famous paintings and sprayed orange paint on the facade of the Italian Senate.

The protests in Italy are part of a series of actions across Europe to focus attention on climate change.

Watch the video above to see the protest in action.

Video editor • Hannah Brown

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