After three incidents of defacement to Rome’s most famous moments, Italy’s culture minister, Giancarlo Galan has declared “no more leniency” towards these criminals. The Italian cabinet approved legislation that would enforce jail sentences for those who damage or steal public art and monuments.
Giancarlo Galan was moved to action after a man chipped off pieces of a fountain in Piazza Navona. Similar events included a vandal throwing stones at the Trevi Fountain as well as an American student climbing the walls of the Coliseum in an attempt to chip away stonework as a souvenir. However, Rome has not been the only Italian city hit with vandalism. It is a country-wide problem that will be stopped with the new legislation.
Under the new law, vandals may be sentenced up to six years in prison and face a fine between 5,000 to 10,000 euros. The new law also targets unauthorized archaeological digs or illegally appropriating artifacts. Offenders caught in the latter acts will also face up to six years in jail, but their fines could be up to 30,000 euros.