‘On October 19th, the waters of Rome’s famous Trevi Fountain turned blood red when a man threw paint into the basin in a bizarre act of vandalism apparently inspired by the Futurists of the early 20th century.
The man, reportedly wearing a beret and a light-colored jacket, struck at around 4.30 pm and then disappeared into the crowd of tourists, leaving behind a pile of leaflets. The fountain, which re-uses the same water in a continuous cycle, soon started spurting red water into the air from its jets, providing an unprecedented spectacle which tourists immediately began photographing. 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.
“There shouldn’t be any relevant damage,” said Eugenio La Rocca, superintendent for Rome’s monuments.
The news agency ANSA reported that a box was found near the fountain containing leaflets by a group that claimed responsibility for the act. 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.
The leaflets state 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.”