Police identify two suspects in Scala dei Turchi vandalism | Italy

Italian police have recognized two males suspected of getting vandalised the famed white limestone Scala dei Turchi (Stairway of the Turks) cliff in Sicily, which options prominently in the Inspector Montalbano books by the late writer Andrea Camilleri.

The cliff, formed like an enormous staircase jutting into the Mediterranean from the coast of Realmonte, was on Friday defaced with purple iron oxide powder which left purple stains working down the limestone.

Sicily’s governor condemned the vandalism as a “cowardly gesture” towards not solely “an asset of uncommon magnificence, but additionally the picture of our island”.

Police on Wednesday mentioned that two males from Favara, a brief distance from the location, had been recognized and reported to the authorities for “damaging a protected pure asset”.


The prosecutor’s workplace of Agrigento, which led the investigation, mentioned that after a collection of searches in neighbouring villages the two males had been recognized on surveillance cameras.

The footage reveals two males leaving a Ford truck pulling two giant sacks containing purple powder.

Investigators recovered traces of purple powder and gloves stained with the identical substance in a shed close to the residence of one of many males.

One of many alleged perpetrators had beforehand been convicted of vandalising the Milan metro and the Valley of the Temples at Agrigento, in addition to the Punta Bianca white cliff close to the Scala dei Turchi.

The motive for the vandalism continues to be unclear, however prosecutors imagine that the gesture represents a type of “problem of authority”.

Volunteers clean the defaced Scala dei Turchi after it was stained with a mixture of water and red plaster.
Volunteers clear the defaced Scala dei Turchi after it was stained with a combination of water and purple plaster. {Photograph}: Soprintendenza Ai Beni Culturali Handout/EPA

A bunch of volunteers from the world spent the weekend scrubbing the stains off the cliff.

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

Yearly, the big white limestone cliff, which drops steeply over the ocean, attracts 1000’s of holiday makers from around the globe. Its title originates from historic raids on the coast by pirates, most likely Saracens.

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