Italy City coun­cil to pocket Trevi Foun­tain coins

The Southland Times - - World -

Throw a coin over your shoul­der into Rome’s Trevi Foun­tain, the leg­end says, and it will bring you good for­tune and you will one day re­turn to the Eter­nal City. It is an es­sen­tial tra­di­tion for mil­lions of tourists. But few will have sus­pected their loose change would also lead to a row be­tween Rome’s sec­u­lar au­thor­i­ties and the Catholic Church. The €1.5 mil­lion (NZ$2.5m) of coins scooped out of the foun­tain each year used to go to Catholic char­ity Car­i­tas. Now Vir­ginia Raggi, Rome’s mayor, says the coins be­long to her ad­min­is­tra­tion. Avvenire, the daily pa­per pro­duced by the Ital­ian Bish­ops’ Con­fer­ence, launched an at­tack on the coun­cil in its Satur­day edi­tion, de­scrib­ing the city’s bu­reau­cracy as ‘‘the en­emy of the poor’’.

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