October 19, 2007
Graziano Cecchini, 54, struck at around 4:30pm and then disappeared into the crowd of tourists, leaving behind a pile of leaflets. The Trevi fountain, which re-uses the same water in a continuous cycle, soon started spurting red water into the air from its jets. Police arrived and technicians briefly shut off the water before restoring a clear flow.
The leaflets found beside the fountain claimed that the coloring of the monument had been carried out by ‘FTM Futurist Action 2007,’ a group which has not been heard of before and that the group aims to battle against “everything and everyone with a spirit of healthy violence” and to turn this “grey bourgeois society into a triumph of color.” As well, the leaflets proclaim that the red paint was a protest for expenses incurred in organizing the Rome Film Festival and symbolically referred to the event’s red carpet. They also complained about the poor state of the elderly, the precariousness of work contracts in the country, and the waste of public money on the Festa del Cinema.
Cecchini told daily newspaper Il Messaggero he sympathized with the ideas. “My mother is 84 and gets €700 pension a month. To get medicine she pays €40 each time. Do you think it’s right she should also pay for Monica Bellucci’s hotel room?”
No damage was done to the baroque work.
A copycat crime has already occurred in Piacenza, where someone dyed red the water in a smaller fountain that was opened last year in Via XXI Aprile.