According to witnesses, Cecchini managed to climb onto the side of the fountain and pour the dye in, turning the Trevi pool into a murky red lake. Police escorted him from the scene.
In a statement, Cecchini said the protest was a “cry that Rome isn’t dead, that it’s alive and ready to return to be the capital of art, life and Renaissance.”
Cecchini was also responsible for sending thousands of colored plastic balls down Rome’s Spanish Steps in 2008.
By Thursday afternoon, authorities had turned off the Trevi’s hydraulics and were draining the fountain pool to prevent any damage from the dye.
“Actions like this display ignorance and a total lack of civic sense,” said the deputy mayor, Luca Bergamo.
During Cecchini’s first red Trevi stunt in 2010, a right-wing group claimed responsibility and said it was to protest the cost of organising the Rome Film Festival. It said the red dye referred to the festival’s red carpet.
The 2017 edition of the festival opened on Thursday.
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