Climate activists face Vatican trial over damage to famous statue

Streaming HUBMarch 11, 2023

A group of climate protesters who damaged the base of an ancient statue in the Vatican Museums are now on trial in a Vatican City court.

In August 2022, Guido Viro and Ester Goffi glued their hands with superglue to the base of “Laocoon and His Sons”, a Roman statue from antiquity.

They also affixed QR codes to the activist material attached to the base of the statue with superglue.

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a visitor sees "Laocoon and his sons" Sculpture in the Vatican Museums.

A visitor looks at the sculpture “Laocoon and His Sons” in the Vatican Museums. (Xinhua/Cheng Tingting via Getty Images)

Viero, 61, and Goffi, 26, were recorded by a third person identified only as Laura, who was also charged by Vatican police.

All three are members of Last Generation – an international climate protest group known for public stunts that attempt to damage historic artwork and disrupt the peace.

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Last Generation claims Viro and Goffi face up to three years in prison and fines of more than €3,000.

He has repeatedly appealed to Vatican officials – including the Pope – for leniency, saying the goal was not to damage the ancient work of art but instead to draw attention to climate change and its effects.

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climate activist "Previous Generation" Attend a protest at the Jakob-Kaiser-Building in Berlin on Saturday, March 4, 2023. Climate activists on Saturday sprayed dark liquid on an artwork near the German parliament building that bears key articles of the country's constitution, a move condemned by the speaker. Parliament and other Legislators.

Climate activists of the “last generation” take part in a protest at the Jakob-Kaiser-Building in Berlin, Saturday, March 4, 2023. Climate activists sprayed a dark liquid on an artwork near the German parliament building on Saturday, which was carved with the country’s main articles. Condemnation of the Constitution, Speaker of Parliament and other MPs. (Sven Keuller/dpa via AP)

The damage done to the Vatican statue is only one of similar protests in the Western Hemisphere.

Climate activists defaced a work of art near Germany’s parliament on Saturday in the latest act of vandalism by protesters related to environmental policy.

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Members of The Last Generation pour black liquid over a series of glass plates, which display 19 articles German constitution, The protesters then put up posters on the front page that read, “Oil or Fundamental Rights?” in German.

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