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Home English Feyenoord fans rampage in Rome, damage famed fountain

Feyenoord fans rampage in Rome, damage famed fountain


Rome, February 19 - Fans of Dutch side Feyenoord
rampaged in Rome for a second day Thursday, hurting 10 police as
they wreaked havoc around the Spanish Steps and damaged a famed
fountain by Renaissance master Bernini, the Barcaccia.
The drunken fans, defying a booze ban and spoiling for
trouble ahead of a Europa League match against AS Roma, hit the
17th-century landmark with bottles, chipping it, amid running
battles with police in Piazza di Spagna.
Small fragments of the marble fountain, a beloved and
recently restored work by Gian Lorenzo Bernini and his father,
were visible amid swirling beer bottles and other rubbish.
A "central part" of the iconic work was "chipped" by the
bottle-wielding fans, Rome Cultural Heritage Superintendent
Claudio Parisi Presicce said after a preliminary examination.
"We'll have to empty the water to make a full assessment,"
he said, adding that the city would sue for damages once the
culprits were caught.
Shops around the Spanish Steps closed their shutters as
the hooligans battled police and threw flares at them, before
being dispersed by baton charges.
"It's guerrilla warfare," one cowering shopkeeper told
Ten police and three fans were hurt.
There was only one fresh arrest - although 23 fans had
been arrested, and 33 held, followed a pitched battle Wednesday
night in the picturesque Campo de' Fiori square, a former
bohemian hang-out that now heaves with pubs and disco bars.
"Roma devastated and wounded. In contact with the Prefect,
Police Chief and Dutch Ambassador. It won't end here" tweeted
Mayor Ignazio Marino.
Marino said he had "protested and demanded explanations"
from authorities in charge of public order and the policing of
soccer matches.
He said he would order a probe into why the Barcaccia was
not guarded by police, given the clear threat to it.
Marino said the city police chief and prefect had
"assured" him "everything was under control" after Wednesday
night's riot.
"Security management has great and intolerable leaks," he
The mayor said he was "furious" at the inadmissible"
Culture Minister Dario Franceschini called for "exemplary
punishment" for the Feyenoord fans.
"It's a disgrace. They aren't fans, they're vandals," he
The damage to the storied fountain was a "disgrace"
even though it was slight, Dutch embassy spokesman Aart Heering
Luckily, he said, only "a few bottles hit the edge, and
only a few chips came off," he said, adding "I'm with the
Italian authorities "can count on the complete
collaboration and commitment of the Netherlands to see the
culprits are punished", the Dutch embassy said in a statement
agreed with the Dutch foreign ministry.
"Soccer must be a celebration where there is no place
for violence", it said.
"There's no room for violence in sport whether inside or
outside the stadium", tweeted European Commissioner for Sport
Tibor Navracsics.
The director of Florence's Uffizi Gallery, Antonio Natali,
said "it is impossible to find the words" to describe the
"I follow and practice football but these people aren't
fans, they're criminals," he said, denouncing "the triumph of
After moving away from the Spanish Steps, the Feyenoord
fans sparked fresh tension with police as they boarded buses at
Rome's Villa Borghese Thursday.
The drunken fans pushed and jostled with police as they
stamped forward on a carpet of broken bottles.
Police laid on heavy security for the ensuing match, which
was 1-1 at half time.

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