Monday, 2 May 2011

Fontana di Trevi and D'Artagnan

Have you ever thrown coins in to the Fontana di Trevi? It is estimated 2 to 3 thousand euros are thrown into the fountain each day. 

Do you know what happens to this money? In theory, it is supposed to go to a charity. But apparently most of it is collected by someone called D'Artagnan. Last week an Italian television channel showed footage of this man's activities  around the fountain, with the apparent involvement of the police. 

Things have been a bit uneasy around the fountain since then. The Guardian reports that "Outraged at the threat to what he regards as an honest living, D'Artagnan – real name Roberto Cercelletta – staged a gory protest on Thursday by repeatedly slashing his stomach and then clambering onto the rocks surrounding the fountain to display his wounds. In 2003 a judge ruled that coins thrown into the Trevi fountain had been discarded by theirs owners and could not therefore be stolen."

One of the many videos made of D'Artagnan's grim performance can be seen here. The impact of the tv programme was huge, endangering not only Mr D'Artagnan's 'job' but also the mayor's. Well done!

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