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Italy’s iconic Scala dei Turchi cliffs defaced by vandals | Italy

An investigation is below method after the famed white limestone Scala dei Turchi cliff in Sicily was “shamefully defaced” with pink powder mud.

The Scala dei Turchi, or Turkish Steps, is considered one of Italy’s most visited vacationer websites and options prominently within the Inspector Montalbano books by the late creator, Andrea Camilleri.

The cliff, which is formed like an enormous staircase jutting into the Mediterranean from the coast of Realmonte in southern Sicily, was vandalised on Friday night time.

Preliminary inspections established that the culprits defaced the cliff with pink iron oxide powder, a fabric which is pretty straightforward to remove, as confirmed by the truth that marks on the decrease a part of the cliff have been partially eliminated by the ocean. Volunteers in Realmonte started cleansing the remaining marks on Saturday.

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The Scala dei Turchi cliffs were stained with a mixture of water and red plaster powder.
The Scala dei Turchi cliffs had been stained with a combination of water and pink plaster powder. {Photograph}: Concetta Rizzo/EPA

“The luxurious white marl cliff of the Scala dei Turchi, an attraction of the Agrigento space for guests from everywhere in the world, has been shamefully defaced,” stated Nello Musumeci, Sicily’s president. “We condemn the perpetrators of this cowardly gesture. It constitutes an outrage not solely to an asset of uncommon magnificence, but additionally to the picture of our island. I hope the judiciary rapidly determine these accountable.”

Luigi Patronaggio, the chief prosecutor of Agrigento, has began an investigation and ordered assessments on the fabric used as a way to hint latest gross sales of pink powder mud within the space and, finally, the patrons. Police are additionally on the lookout for clues by way of video surveillance photos.

The Scala dei Turchi was submitted as a candidate for Unesco world heritage standing in 2019. Nevertheless, the landmark was quickly closed and seized by prosecutors in early 2020 after years of complaints about its poor preservation.

The Scala dei Turchi cliffs before they were defaced, overlooking the Mediterranean sea.
The Scala dei Turchi cliffs earlier than they had been defaced, overlooking the Mediterranean sea. {Photograph}: Yola Watrucka/Alamy

The cliff has suffered pure erosion but additionally from the large variety of vacationers, a few of whom have stolen items of rock, which consists of soppy white limestone.

The investigation additionally probed the possession of the Scala dei Turchi, which for years has been contested between native authorities in Realmonte and Ferdinando Sciabbarà, who staked his declare of possession of a part of the shoreline based mostly on paperwork relationship again to the nineteenth century.

Sciabbarà was investigated for the occupation of state-owned land and different crimes linked with the preservation of the positioning. He was ordered to pay a €9,100 tremendous final summer season and the land was returned to him. In response to reviews within the Italian press, Sciabbarrà is able to promote his portion of the land to the native authority, provided that a nature reserve be established.

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