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Vatican Justice Fines Climate Activists for Vandalism in Vatican Museums

Valentina di Giorgio

On August 18, 2022, two climate activists jumped over the protective rope of one of the Vatican’s most famous works of art: the Laocoon. They glued their hands to the base of the sculpture to the astonishment of visitors in the Museum, who didn’t accept the climate pamphlets that the complainers were handing out but, instead, rebuked them. The two activists held up a banner, which highlighted more their group’s name than the cause they were defending.

The incident merited their being brought to trial. The trial ended on Monday, June 12, 2023, with the sentence against the three individuals implicated: Guido Viero, Ester Maria Rosa Goffi and Laura Zorzini. 

Guido was sentenced to nine months in prison and a 1,500 euro fine. Ester was also sentenced to nine months in prison and a 1,500 euro fine; Laura was fined 120 euros. However, the judge ordered that the sentence be  suspended for five years, and that it not be mentioned in the criminal records, unless they commit another crime. Nevertheless, all three must pay the expenses of the criminal case and Viero and Goffi must make restitution for the damage caused, which was stipulated at 28,148 euros.

The activists expressed their disagreement with [alleged] insults to the Vatican. This year the same group poured black coal on the water of the Trevi Fountain to the disapproval of the thousands of tourists gathered there.