Last Generation climate change activists to stand trial at the Vatican

by | May 22, 2023 | Religion

VATICAN CITY (RNS) — Three Italian environmental activists will face their second trial hearing at the Vatican on Wednesday (May 24) for having glued themselves to the famous statue “Laocoön and His Sons” in the Vatican Museums last summer.Ester Goffi, a 25-year-old art history student, and Guido Viero, a 61-year-old health worker, glued their hands to the marble statue in August of last year in a sign of protest urging world leaders to combat climate change, while another friend, as yet unnamed, was filming on her cellphone. The statue was not damaged, and Vatican police eliminated the recording on the device after sequestering it.
The three will stand trial at the Vatican, facing charges of vandalism.
The environmental activists belong to the Italian movement Ultima Generazione, which translates to “Last Generation” in English, and is responsible for several public vandalism acts to major artistic and historical sites in Italy aimed at drawing attention to the danger of climate change. On Sunday, Last Generation activists filled Rome’s famous Trevi Fountain with black coloring to protest fossil fuels.
During the first hearing on March 9, the activists chose not to come to trial. The Vatican’s legal system uses canon law, and its criminal law is based on the Italian penal code from 1889. “The lawyers who are authorized to defend us i …

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