Fountain of Neptune in Rovereto
Lost its Trident
Like in many other Italian cities there is a fountain of Neptune in Rovereto. The Roman sea god rules over one of the most adorable piazzas surrounded by houses with wooden shutters and crumbling frescos. For this he needs his trident.
The Fountain of Neptune in Rovereto is old. With a history dating back to 1736 it is up to 30 years older than the Fountain of Neptune in nearby Trento, which is important for local self awareness. It was also one of the first fountains to be completely renovated in the late noughties, when Rovereto relaunched itself as a ‘città dell’acqua’.
A Local Icon
Not that Neptune had been standing on the charming Piazza delle Oche also known as Piazza Cesare Battisti in Rovereto for long. The fountain was originally created by a little known sculptor named Domenico Molin from val Badia near Bolzano, and it had moved around a bit before it ended up in the centre of Rovereto in 1976. Since then the Fountain of Neptune in Rovereto has been a local icon of a more permanent nature than the brief stays of Dante, Mozart and Goethe that helped to put Rovereto on the map.
Acts of Vandalism
So naturally the whole town was dismayed, when vandals stole Neptune’s trident in august 2012.
According to Roman mythology, Neptune uses the three-pronged spear to rule the ocean along with springs, lakes and rivers and to create new bodies of water, and the disarmament rendered the god rather impotent. It didn’t help that jokers tried placing umbrellas and a tv-aerials in Neptune’s right hand instead of the trident. At the end the council ordered a new trident that was identical with the one that had gone missing.
Since then The Fountain of Neptune in Rovereto has been fully equipped to guard the flow of pedestrians on one of the most adorable squares in town. And the original trident was later found in a ditch.
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Aww, wonder why someone would want to steal his trident? I’m terrible with things like this, though, because even though it’s vandalism and I hate it when people destroy things like this unnecessarily, there’s always a little naughty smile when I see things like TV aerials in place of what should be there…Only for a split second. ;) Glad he’s now fully equipped again.
I recognise the little miss mischievous and I suppose most people do. At least if you judge from the number of locals who flocked to see The Little Mermaid every time she has lost her head. Still, most acts of vandalism lack purpose and creativity, and that makes me sad.
Charming story! Good to hear Neptune can once again guard the flow of pedestrians properly in Roverto :-).
Yes, in some places tridents are necessary to maintain public order.
What a wonderful statue. I am always always dismayed to hear about acts of vandalism and theft like this. I recognize that these acts are most often committed by kids who just “don’t think.” We all wish things like this did not happen, but often with kids, cooler heads rarely prevail. They see the opportunity to do something, and so often are unable to stop themselves.
I am pleased to hear that the statue is now fully equipped. Hearing that the trident was recovered, and “in a ditch” no less, proves to me that this was just another act of wanton vandalism, done either on a dare or just because some one (probably kids) saw that trident and could not resist creating mischief. I would venture to say that with twenty or thirty years on them, the perpetrators will regret their actions. Let’s hope they can teach their own kids to keep their hands off the national treasures!
What sort of fines or consequences are there in Italy for such acts? Are the families of the kids required to pay for replacement or repair? Are those responsible ever put on trial or jailed?
I think you are right that this was kids stuff – or the act of immature grown-ups – and I agree it’s sad, when a few spoil something that a lot of other people appreciate. People really should know better, even if it is virtually impossible to identify the perpetrator.