Two environmental activists who glued themselves to an ancient statue in the Vatican Museums said they did not intend to damage its marble base, but wanted to draw attention to the urgency of acting against climate change, they told the Vatican’s criminal court in a hearing on 24th May.
The activists, Guido Viero, 62, and Ester Goffi, 26, are on trial at the Vatican for a protest in August 2022 when they glued their hands to the base of the statue of Laocoön and His Sons, believed to date back to the first century B.C.
They held up a banner that read “No Gas and No Coal” and showed the logo of the Last Generation environmental group, which organises civil disobedience protests. A third activist who filmed the incident is also facing charges but was not present at the hearing.
After the hearing, Goffi told the Italian news agency ANSA that the activists each face a maximum of three years in prison and fines of more than 3,000 euros. The court is expected to deliver the sentences after the trial’s next hearing, which is scheduled for 12th June.
Picture: The statue of Laocoön and His Sons is seen in the Vatican Museums in this file photo. The sculpture was the target of an August 2022 protest to draw attention to climate change. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)