Activists for the Greenpeace environmental lobby staged a protest Wednesday in front of one of Rome's biggest monuments to urge people to back an upcoming referendum against offshore oil drilling.
A group of people planted 30 fake oil drills and unfolded a banner saying "Italy is not for drilling" in the middle of Piazza Venezia, against the backdrop of the Altare della Patria (Altar of the Fatherland).
The stunt was organized to raise awareness about an April 17 referendum that seeks to introduce stricter time limits to licensing for offshore oil drilling.
In a statement, Greenpeace's Italian section condemned offshore oil drilling as an environmental hazard "condemning Italy to dependency on fossil fuels" and a threat to tourism and fishing.
The referendum will be valid only if at least 50 per cent of the electorate goes to the polls. To help turnout, its sponsors wanted it to be held in conjunction with local elections due in late May/early June, but the government decided against that.