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Climate Activists Protested in Front of the Florence Baptistery

  • The banner reads,

    The banner reads, "We don't pay for fossil fuel" | Photo: Twitter/ @fanpage

Published 3 July 2023

Members of the Ultima Generazione organization poured the sauce on themselves and unfurled a banner in front of Lorenzo Ghiberti's Gates of Paradise.

On Monday, a group of climate activists threw tomato sauce in front of the doors of the Baptistry of the Florence Cathedral, without damaging the monument.


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The five members of the Last Generation (Ultima Generazione) organization poured the sauce on themselves and unfurled a banner in front of Lorenzo Ghiberti's Gates of Paradise, as hundreds of tourists strolled through the monumental square.

Although the ground was stained, the tomato sauce did not splatter on the replica door designed by Ghiberti, one of the Renaissance's most prominent works. Its original version is preserved in the Duomo Museum to protect it from inclement weather. Due to this reason, unlike in other protests, no complaints have been filed against the activists.

Recently, however, the Italian government passed a bill that could punish perpetrators of acts of vandalism against artworks, monuments, or cultural assets with fines of up to 60,000 euros, and even criminal penalties.

The tweet reads, "People of the Last Generation. To date, 100 people have joined the Last Generation's civil disobedience actions. Ordinary people with different ages, occupations, origins and education."

Last May, other Last Generation activists poured a black liquid, composed of liquid coal, into the water of the monumental Trevi Fountain in Rome. They used the same substance in similar actions, such as in the Barcaccia Fountain in the Roman Spanish Steps or Gian Lorenzo Bernini's Four Rivers Fountain in the Navona Square.

This is not the first time these activists have targeted heritage with such actions. In November, they threw soup at a Van Gogh painting in a temporary exhibition in Rome and splattered paint on Maurizio Cattelan's "The Finger" in front of the Milan Stock Exchange, as well as the equestrian sculpture of Vittorio Emanuele II in front of the Duomo.

And a few weeks ago, the Vatican City Court sentenced two climate activists to a "suspended" nine-month prison term for attaching themselves to the famous Laocoon sculpture to protest against the climate crisis. They are also required to pay compensation of approximately US$30,267.

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