Man stages protest on St Peter's Basilica dome
An Italian man climbed onto the huge dome of St Peter's Basilica yesterday to stage a protest against Prime Minister Mario Monti and the European Union.
Video footage showed the man jumping over railings near the top of the 137-metre-high dome in the afternoon, shocking visitors on a normal tour. He then tied a cord to the railings and abseiled down to a ledge over a window in the cupola.
Tottering precariously on the ledge, he unveiled a banner reading: "Help! Enough Monti, Enough Europe! Enough Multinationals!".
He remained on the dome into the night, flashing a strobe light.
The man is a beach worker, angry about a European Union directive and an Italian government plan that will see licences to operate patches of seafront auctioned off transparently from 2016, his colleague Alex Giuzio told Reuters.
Beach workers say the plan will favour multinational companies over smaller local businesses.