Italian heritage vandal is caught
Monday 05 September 2011
Italian police have arrested a vandal who confessed to smashing a marble statue in Rome's famed Piazza Navona and of trying to damage the nearby Trevi Fountain.
He was caught near the square a day after the attack after police noticed he was wearing the same white trainers as the vandal, who was captured on security cameras.
Rome Mayor Gianni Alemanno urged no mercy for the suspect, saying Italy must protect its artistic heritage with an "exemplary punishment."
The video footage showed the man climbing in the Moro Fountain on the southern end of Piazza Navona early on Saturday and repeatedly attacking the statue - one of four large faces at the edge of the fountain - with a large cobblestone and then walking away.
The damage is on a 19th-century copy of the original Moro Fountain by 16th-century artist Giacomo della Porta. Bernini added the central figure in the 1600s.
Restoration work has begun to reattach the pieces, with the damaged fountain being drained and the broken pieces being cleaned.
A police spokesman said the man had confessed to both the Piazza Navona attack and of throwing the rock at the Trevi Fountain a few hours later.
"I hope that this criminal is given an exemplary punishment, including jail time, because it's necessary to make clear the gravity of the crime to defend our artistic patrimony," he said.
Tourists in Piazza Navona seemed to concur.
"It is a crime," said Briton Norman Rose. "I don't know how important it is, but it is a crime against the values of civilisation."
- 1 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 3 Mystery man who gave mum heart-warming note on train 'wanted to put a smile on her face'
King Salman: Just five days in, Saudi Arabia's new king has already overseen a beheading
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Mystery man who gave mum heart-warming note on train 'wanted to put a smile on her face'
Michelle Obama highlights harsh restrictions faced by Saudi women after meeting King Salman without wearing a headscarf
Chilling drone footage captures Auschwitz ahead of 70th anniversary of liberation
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
£120 - £150 per annum: Tradewind Recruitment: I am recruiting on instruction o...
£70000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Controller - Fina...
£24000 - £28000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Executive - Wim...
£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Front End Web Developer is re...