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Ensanguining the Trevi
Fontana di Trevi in Red

A group calling itself the ATM Azionefuturista 2007 has turned one of Rome's most famous monuments into a bloodied protest canvas.

One of its members, in full Futurist glee, “threw a bucket of red paint or dye into Rome's Trevi Fountain on Friday, coloring the waters of the 18th-century monument bright red in front of a crowd of astonished tourists and residents.”

The man escaped, leaving the fountain, which normally runs on a closed cycle, spouting red water. Police arrived and technicians briefly shut off the water before restoring a clear flow.

Experts said the baroque fountain was not permanently damaged and the marble statues depicting the sea deity Neptune on his chariot had not absorbed the color.

At first I thought the guy read an advance copy of The New York Times Magazine's extended report on the neverending water problems of the American Southwest, and so was compelled to carry out this guerrilla attack to highlight the impending climate change disaster to an audience of intensive carbon-producing tourists. Like a self-righteous Moses to a bunch of uber-consumerist Ramesseses.

But alas, based on leaflets found nearby, officials think that he was simply protesting against the “expenses incurred in organizing the Rome Film Festival.” The red waters of the Trevi, then, “symbolically referred to the event's red carpet.”

It was one simple gesture by one person, but the whole world has taken notice. So perhaps next year, another famous fountain will be made to spew vermillion waters — or preferably, made to stagnate and concoct a toxic stew of fluorescent green algae — to successfully call international attention to our present shared hydrological crisis.

Since the fountain is constantly being monitored by CCTV cameras, there is a video of the incident:

Fontana di Trevi in Red

But here are some clearer photos, courtesy of Corriere della Serra:

Fontana di Trevi in Red

Fontana di Trevi in Red

Fontana di Trevi in Red

Fontana di Trevi in Red

The spirit of Umberto Boccioni still hovers over the heady waters of Italy.
  • Anonymous
  • October 22, 2007 at 4:24:00 PM CDT
  • hey man, you ARE trevi. how do you feel about it?

    when i was there, ppl were consummating behind the statues. everyone applauded when they emerged. given the recent events, it seems like the trevi is a well-functioning fountain.

  • Alexander Trevi
  • October 23, 2007 at 11:33:00 AM CDT
  • I feel quite honored to be ensanguinated.

    Meanwhile, now that the cat's out of the bag, I think people will now try appropriate the fountain as a form protest everytime. It's so ridiculously and outrageously popular that whatever out of the ordinary happens to it, everyone will take notice. Dye it with any color of the rainbow and your grievances will be a cause célèbre. Drain it for a week and tourists will riot and Rome's entire tourism industry crumples. That is if it doesn't become an even more of an attraction.

  • Anonymous
  • October 25, 2007 at 9:50:00 PM CDT
  • This is nothing...Read THE SECOND VENICE by Askin Ozcan
    ISBN 1598000888
    to see how Venice is murdered...
    The story of a "bigger and better"
    Venice built by Pshht Cola and McBigBite, after the Italian Govt.
    limited the number of tourists to Venice- to protect the City.
    Fake canals, fake gondolas, fake museums, fake paintings and even a "Fake Films Festival"...
    Thieves, spies, tourists from all around the world, congresses...
    Da Vinci's spirit being called...
    A wonderful fantasy humor which was No.1 in ITALY MAGAZINE leaving Juvenal's "Satires" in No. 2.
    reviews at:,,,
    Sold on major internet bookshops.

  • Alexander Trevi
  • October 26, 2007 at 2:50:00 AM CDT
  • Hey Anonymous,

    Thanks for the recommendation. Will definitely check it out.

    Meanwhile, here's a quick link to the book on Amazon: The Second Venice.

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