Activists pour red paint down Rome’s famed Spanish Steps in outrage over femicides in Italy

ROME (AP) — Police detained several activists who poured red paint down Rome’s famed Spanish Steps on Wednesday to raise awareness about femicides in Italy.

The protesters, from an organization called “Bruciamo Tutto,” or ”Let’s Burn Everything,” spilled paint down the 135-step monument, then dipped their hands in the paint, meant to represent blood, to leave handprints on the monument as tourists looked on.

Police carried protesters, who went limp, away from the scene.

One activist shouted that 40 women had been killed in Italy since the Nov. 11, 2023 killing of 23-year-old Giulia Cecchettin that galvanized outrage against violence targeting women. Venice prosecutors recently closed their investigation of her ex-boyfriend for the slaying. Charges are pending.

The activists left leaflets with the names of women killed this year, mostly by their partners.

Sanitation workers hosed down the steps, immediately washing away the paint. There appeared to be no permanent damage.

A top tourist draw, the Spanish Steps have appeared as the backdrop in movies including the classic “Roman Holiday” as well as the more recent “ Mission Impossible — Dead Reckoning, ” featuring Tom Cruise bumping down the steps in a Fiat 500.

Copyright © 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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