Two French men charged with trespassing after climbing Milan Duomo

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Two French men charged with trespassing after climbing Milan Duomo
Milan's city centre is expected to bring in stricter traffic limits in 2024. Photo by Miguel MEDINA / AFP

Two French nationals were arrested and charged with trespassing on Friday after climbing to the top of Milan’s Duomo cathedral, as part of a social media stunt.


A police officer spotted the two men, aged 18 and 20 around 6am, while they were free-climbing the building’s main spire, according to local media reports. 

It is still unclear when exactly they started the 108.5 metre-ascent and which side of the Duomo they scaled, though video footage available online showed them using the scaffolding for ongoing restoration works on their way up.


After reaching the top of the main spire – known as the guglia della Madonnina due to its famous statue of the Virgin Mary – the two men started their descent.

Once back on the ground, they were arrested by local police officers, who had in the meantime cordoned off the area. They then charged the free climbers with trespassing under article 633 of Italy’s criminal code

The two men each face a fine of up to 1,032 euros, according to local media.

READ ALSO: What punishments do tourists face if they damage Italian monuments?

Following the arrest, investigators identified them as part of a well-known group of urban climbers and 'parkourists' (people who traverse obstacles without equipment), who regularly post their stunts on social media. 

Madonnina statue, Milan Duomo

A view of the 'Madonnina' statue atop the main spire of Milan's Duomo cathedral. Photo by Marco BERTORELLO / AFP

Gianluca Mirabelli, chief of Milan’s operative police command, referred to them as urban climbing “professionals”, adding that photos of similar feats in other European countries had been found on their mobile phones.

After checks from local police forces, the Duomo was said to have suffered no damage during the climb. 


According to Mirabelli, there was no connection between Friday’s Duomo stunt and an incident that occurred on Monday evening, in which three as-yet-unidentified individuals climbed on top of the Vittorio Emanuele Gallery and vandalised it using spray paint.

The Security Department of the 'Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo' is still carrying out investigations, and is viewing the footage of all the cameras.

The two French climbers weren’t the first to scale to the top of Milan’s cathedral. A Polish national also reached the world-famous Madonnina statue in May 2022 to reportedly take a selfie.


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Kris 2023/08/15 05:58
More morons. Hit them with the maximum fine.

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