Bernini’s Barcaccia Fountain / soccer fans
In February 2015, this 500-year-old public work, installed at the foot of the Spanish Steps in Rome, was damaged by Dutch soccer fans during a match between Feyenoord and AS Roma. A large group of people gathered around the fountain and began assaulting it, throwing debris into/at it, kicking it, smashing bottles and lighting firecrackers and smoke bombs on its exterior, resulting in chips and splinters in the fountain’s surface.
Following a heated standoff between authorities and fans that included tear gas and physical clashing, the Italian police arrested 29 vandals. While experts were immediately brought in to address the damages done to the fountain, much of the harm was thought to be permanent.