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Gargoyle crumbles off of Rome’s Trevi fountain

City officials are blaming heavy snowfall as the reason behind why ornate stucco reliefs have crumbled off of Rome’s historic Trevi fountain.

As hundreds of tourists lobbed pennies into the fountain’s pool on Monday, workmen were erecting scaffolding around a section of the facade where fragments of a gargoyle’s head and foliage crashed to the ground on Saturday night.

City officials played down the damage, blaming it on Rome’s freak snowfall this winter, which caused water infiltration. But as the rest of the fountain was checked for crumbling stucco, Italy’s Green party launched a campaign against what it described as dangerous cuts to the funding to maintain Rome’s monuments.

“We are asking Romans to tip us off to sites which are not being taken care of,” said the Green party president, Angelo Bonelli.

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Story: Tom Kington, The Guardian | Photo: Ettore Ferrari/EPA

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