Protester Climbs Up St. Peter’s Basilica

This is the fifth time Marcello di Finizio has climbed St. Peters Basilica Photo: Roma Repubblica

A frustrated Italian businessman evaded Vatican security to climbed up the facade of St. Peter’s Basilica on Sunday night. The man, named as Marcello di Finizio, was attempting to express his disapproval of proposed European Union legislation, Art Daily reports. He reportedly used mountain climbing equipment to lower himself onto a ledge from a rooftop accessible to tourists.

According to NBC News, Italian television showed him on his mobile phone, pacing back and forth on the ledge, which is situated just above the balcony from which the Pope addresses Catholic pilgrims.

The Washington Post reported that the entrepreneur, who owns a beach bar and rents out umbrellas and lounge chairs in the town of Trieste, northeastern Italy, is protesting against a European Union directive which plans to auction licenses to operate waterfront businesses. According to di Finizio the measures would favor multinational companies and would risk putting several local businesses out of work.

di Finizio has demanded a meeting with the Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi to discuss his concerns.

Climbing up the Basilica seems to be di Finizio’s very own unique brand of direct action. It is the fifth time he has managed the feat in the name of civil disobedience. In 2012, he climbed onto the cupola to protest against austerity measures, where he remained for 24 hours before firefighters convinced him to come back down to the ground. (see Man Protests Italian Government Atop the Dome of St. Peter’s at the Vatican)

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