Editions:  Austria · Denmark · France · Germany · Italy · Norway · Spain · Sweden · Switzerland

Man sets himself alight on St Peter's Square

Share this article

Man sets himself alight on St Peter's Square
An Italian man set himself alight on St Peter's Square. Photo: Wikicommons
10:27 CET+01:00
A 50-year-old Italian man set himself on fire on St Peter's Square Thursday in a rare event on the famous esplanade and is being treated in hospital with burns over half his body, the Vatican and police sources said.

The man, who worked as a cleaner in a nearby Vatican-run hospital and had a major family dispute on Wednesday, was seen by police in closed-circuit footage covered in fuel and setting light to his clothes.

Before his shocking act, the man left a note on the ground with his daughter's phone number, police sources said, adding that he may have had health problems.

He worked at Santo Spirito hospital near the main Via della Conciliazione avenue to the Vatican and is being treated at another clinic outside the city centre.

Police had initially said the man was 51.

The last time there was a self-immolation on St Peter's Square was 1998 when a 40-year-old Italian gay man set himself on fire in a protest against the Catholic Church's stance on homosexuality. He died of his wounds a few days later.

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

Get notified about breaking news on The Local

Share this article

From our sponsors

Change the world with a master's degree from Sweden's Linköping University

Master's students at world-leading Linköping University (LiU) aren't there simply to study. They solve real-world problems alongside experts in fields that can create a better tomorrow. Do you have what it takes to join them?

Advertisement