Vatican takes climate activists to trial for damage to base of famous statue in Vatican Museums

Laocoön and His Sons, Vatican Museums Laocoön and His Sons, Vatican Museums. | Shutterstock

The Vatican held a hearing Thursday to try three climate activists for criminal damage to a famous statue in the Vatican Museums.

Guido Viero, 61, and Ester Goffi, 26, were ordered to appear before the Vatican City State’s tribunal on March 9.

Viero and Goffi superglued their hands to the marble base holding Laocoön and His Sons, an ancient marble sculpture on display in the Vatican Museums, on the morning of Aug. 18, 2022. 

They are accused of damaging the base of the statue through the use of “particularly tough and corrosive synthetic adhesive.”

Laura, who video-recorded the demonstration in the Vatican Museums and whose last name is not public, has also been charged by the Vatican.

The three are part of Ultima Generazione (“Last Generation”), an Italian group that encourages nonviolent civil disobedience to “raise the alarm on the climate emergency.”

Charges of resisting a public official were dropped.

According to Ultima Generazione, Viero and Goffi face up to three years in prison and fines of up to 3,099 euros ($3,272).

The climate activism group claims that after Viero and Goffi glued themselves to the statue base, that area of the Vatican Museums was cleared of museum guests by staff. It also said the cell phones of those recording the action were confiscated and video or photo footage of the stunt was deleted before the phones were returned to their owners.

Our mission is the truth. Join us!

Your monthly donation will help our team continue reporting the truth, with fairness, integrity, and fidelity to Jesus Christ and his Church.