Ornate stucco reliefs have crumbled from the Trevi fountain, Rome’s baroque masterpiece, making it the latest in a series of Italian monuments to suffer damage and reigniting a row over Italy’s commitment to protect its heritage.
As hundreds of tourists lobbed pennies into the fountain’s pool on Monday, workmen were erecting scaffolding around a section of the facade where fragments of a gargoyle’s head and foliage crashed to the ground on Saturday night.
City officials played down the damage, blaming it on Rome’s freak snowfall this winter, which caused water infiltration. But as the rest of the fountain was checked for crumbling stucco, Italy’s Green party launched a campaign against what it described as dangerous cuts to the funding to maintain Rome’s monuments. Read more.