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Italy: Florence Mayor Jumps Into Action Halting Climate Activist with the Last Generation from Spraying Paint on Palazzo Vecchio, Two Arrested as Citizens Start Helping with Cleanup



The mayor of Florence, Italy, stepped in last week to physically stop climate protesters from defacing the ancient Palazzo Vecchio, which serves as the citys town hall.
Videos and photos shared by the Ultima Generazione (Last Generation) activist group show two protesters approaching the Palazzo Vecchio with fire extinguishers on March 17. They then use them to spray “washable” orange paint all over the buildings facade.
Along with a pair of police officers, Florence Mayor Dario Nardella can be seen physically grabbing a protester and shoving him away to stop him from defacing the building.
As the male protester is arrested, Nardella can be seen facing the wall and taking a knee, putting his head in his hands, clearly upset by the vandalism.
The activist group said the demonstration was in part a response to budget cuts last week in Italys Senate of the Republic. They say the funds should be used to address current and future drought conditions and other ecological investments.
The group accuses Florence, in particular, of “hypocrisy” on climate goals.
“Although the municipal administration allowed the installation of photovoltaic panels in October 2022, it still now places bans and strong limits on such installations,” the group said in a statement. “In fact: the installation of photovoltaic panels in the historical center of the city is absolutely forbidden.”
Both protesters were detained by police.
“The Italian Government, despite the declaration of climate emergency, continues to fail in its duty,” said one of the protesters, identified only as Giordano. “Our administrations should abandon fossil energy as quickly as possible, instead, disregarding the problems, they continue to invest, solely for their own profit, public funds, even my money, in useless and harmful works.”
The Last Generation activists group, which spans multiple countries, was previously responsible for defacing multiple artworks with paint and mashed potatoes.