• Italy's news in English
 
app_header_v3

'Gay' Christmas lights in Rome spark unholy row

AFP · 6 Dec 2013, 19:52

Published: 06 Dec 2013 19:52 GMT+01:00

City assemblywoman Imma Battaglia said she and mayor Ignazio Marino had decided to send a message with the multi-coloured lights, which ripple for a kilometre and a half (0.9 miles) of the bustling Via del Corso.

Battaglia, who also leads a gay rights campaign group, said the lights were intended to be against homophobia following the suicide of a gay teenager in the city.

"That is how we came up with the rainbow flag idea," said Battaglia, who is from the leftist Sel party, but added that they could also be seen as a peace symbol.

That did not sit well with the opposition in the Italian capital's bassembly, particularly the far-right Fratelli d'Italia (Italian Brothers) party.

"The idea is provocative and ideological. There should be an Italian tri-colour instead," Fabrizio Ghera, an assemblyman from the party, said earlier.

The Italian flag colours were used in 2011 to mark the 150th anniversary of Italian unification, while the lights were white monochrome for Christmas last year.

The head of the company behind the installation, Laura Rossi International, sought to defuse controversy on Friday, saying the lights would now be dedicated to the late anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela.

Story continues below…

"This way the message of love, tolerance, unity and sharing will become stronger," Rossi said.

Don't miss a story about Italy - Join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Quake hit in one of Italy's most seismically-prone areas
Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP

The deadly earthquake that struck central Italy before dawn on Wednesday occurred in a notorious seismic hotspot, and dangerous aftershocks are possible, scientists said.

Italy quake toll hits 247 as rescuers hunt for survivors
Volunteers join rescue services in Amatrice. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP

The death toll from a powerful earthquake that shook central Italy rose to 247 on Thursday, officials said, as rescuers desperately searched for survivors in the rubble of devastated mountain villages.

Live: Italy earthquake death toll rises to 247
Residents of Amatrice survey the damage to their homes. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP

At least 247 people have died after a powerful earthquake struck a remote area of central Italy on Wednesday, said Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, warning that the figure could still rise.

At least 120 dead in central Italy earthquake
Rescuers carry a man in Amatrice. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP

A powerful earthquake that rocked central Italy on Wednesday left 120 people dead and the total is likely to rise, the country's civil protection unit said in the first official death toll.

Italy earthquake: What we know so far
Rescuers carry a man through the rubble of damaged homes. Photo: AFP

At least 247 are reported dead as rescuers work to save those trapped in the rubble.

A long history of deadly earthquakes in Italy
Photo taken on May 17th 1976 of a nun showing a church destroyed by the Friuli-Venezia earthquake. Photo: AFP

At least 73 people were killed after a powerful earthquake struck central Italy early on Wednesday.

'We only heard their cats': quake sorrow of Italian village
A victim of the quake in Illica desparately calls his relatives. Photo: Mario Laporta/AFP

Sitting with his brother on a bench in Illica, one of the Italian mountain villages devastated by a powerful earthquake on Wednesday, Guido Bordo clasps and unclasps his hands repeatedly.

IN PICS: Aftermath of deadly earthquake in Italy
A man from Amatrice. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP

"Three quarters of the town isn't there anymore," said the mayor of Amatrice after a deadly quake hit overnight.

Migrant travels 400km clinging beneath lorry in Italy
The youngster was spotted travelling north on Italy's A1 motorway. Photo: Polizia di Stato

The refugee was exhausted from the effort of holding onto the truck by the time he was found.

Italian teenagers to get €500 'culture bonus'
The scheme will cost the govenment €290 million. Photo: Giuseppe Cacace/AFP

Italians who turn 18 this year can spend the money on books, concert tickets, trips to the cinema and more.

Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
National
Why discontented Italians could derail their economy
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Society
Keep passports safe: Typical pickpocket scams revealed
Culture
Why coffee in Italy is a culture you must taste to understand
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Society
The richest families in Florence in 1427 are still rich today
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Culture
So why do pasta-loving Italians live such long lives?
National
Italy's Renzi prepares for stormy autumn
Society
This 104-year-old just saw the sea for the first time
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
National
Should Rome give up on its 2024 Olympic dream?
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Society
The Italian doctor giving hope to thousands of migrants
Culture
Ten 'Italian' dishes that don't actually exist in Italy
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Sport
Five Italian athletes going for gold at the Rio Olympics
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Travel
Trastevere: From a fiery past to Rome’s souvenir stand
Politics
Think Trump would be a disaster? Just ask the Italians
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
National
How Brexit has helped to expose Italy’s banking malaise
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Politics
After Brexit, keep a close eye on Italy's Five Star Movement
Lifestyle
12 mistakes foreigners make when moving to Italy
National
Why Milan could be Europe's post-Brexit financial hub
Travel
Five crowd-free alternatives to Italy's tourist hotspots
National
Italian hotspots struggling with 'too many tourists'
Culture
Meet the Italian chef behind the world's best restaurant
2,507
jobs available