Activist-Vandal Dyes Rome's Trevi Fountain Red (Again!)

Local police stand by the Trevi fountain in Rome on Oct. 26, 2017 after Italian activist Graziano Cecchini poured red dye into the pool.Filippo Monteforte / AFP - Getty Images

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
/ Source: Associated Press

ROME - An Italian activist poured red dye into the Trevi Fountain on Thursday — 10 years after he pulled the same stunt vandalizing one of Rome's most famous monuments.

Graziano Cecchini insisted that the dye wouldn't harm the fountain and was intended as a protest against Rome's corruption and filth.

Let our news meet your inbox. The news and stories that matters, delivered weekday mornings.

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.

Cecchini pours red paint in the water of the Trevi Fountain, in Rome.Massimo Percossi / ANSA via AP

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.

Cecchini is taken into custody after pouring red paint in the water of the Trevi Fountain.Massimo Percossi / ANSA via AP

"Actions like this display ignorance and a total lack of civic sense," said the deputy mayor, Luca Bergamo.

During Cecchini's first red Trevi stunt in 2010, a right-wing group claimed responsibility and said it was to protest the cost of organizing the Rome Film Festival. It said the red dye referred to the festival's red carpet.

The 2017 edition of the festival opened Thursday.