Trevi Fountain turned black by climate change activists

Italian climate activists startled tourists and turned the water of Rome's Trevi Fountain black to protest against fossil fuel subsidies.

Around a dozen members of Ultima Generazione (Last Generation) poured liquid charcoal into the fountain while holding banners stating: We won't pay for fossil (fuels) before being removed by police.

The group has received funding from the US-based Climate Emergency Fund, which has also funded climate action groups Insulate Britain and Just Stop Oil.

The group styled as Just Stop Oil, have organised several acts of civil disobedience in Italy including spraying works of art and blocking motorways.

After dyeing the Trevi Fountain's water black, they tweeted: "How much longer do we have to wait for those in government to take concrete action?"

Climate activists hold a banner after pouring vegetable charcoal into Rome's Trevi Fountain water during a demonstration against fossil fuels | Credit: Alessandro Penso/MAPS via REUTERS

The climate group is calling for an end to public subsidies for fossil fuels, adding that a quarter of all houses in Italy are at risk of flooding.

The group has warned that one-in-four houses in Italy are at risk of flooding. It comes days after deadly floods in the north-eastern region of Emilia-Romagna killed at least 15 people and displaced more than 36,000 others.

The devastating floods saw six months' worth of rain fall in just 36 hours and left 20,000 without power.

Last month, activists poured the same black liquid into a 17th-century fountain known as La Barcaccia.

Activist Mattia, 19, said he took part in the demonstration in Rome "Because the horrible tragedy experienced in these days in Emilia Romagna is a forewarning of the black future that awaits mankind."

Italian Culture Minister Gennaro Sangiuliano criticised the activists: "Attacking monuments by eco-vandals is becoming a tired ritual which, unfortunately, however, has an economic cost for citizens and perhaps even causes damage," he said.

The protestors poured liquid carbon into the water of Rome's Trevi Fountain | Credit: Alessandro Penso/MAPS via REUTERS

"It is no coincidence that the hundreds of tourists present in front of the Trevi Fountain have expressed their disappointment at this umpteenth reckless act. We will also appear as a civil party in this process.

"I am sure that Parliament will soon want to approve the provision that will make them pay the huge costs that the community incurs every time."

The Mayor of Rome, Roberto Gualtieri, called on activists to "compete on a confrontational terrain without putting the monuments at risk".