14:30 28 July 2012
A charity claims that the value of the coins taken from the Trevi Fountain in Rome has increased by up to 30 per cent. Despite the recession wracking over all of Europe, people seem more willing to throw their spare change into the famous fountain.
Authorities in Rome, however, don’t think this is a coincidence as they have been clamping down hard on thieves who steal the coins tossed by the tourists. With the authorities’ help, the Roman Catholic charity Caritas, which is assigned to fish out the coins every week to pay for Aids shelters and provide food for the poor, now gets higher amounts to do good deeds with.
Albert Colaiacomo, the spokesman for the charity, confirmed: “The increase is 20 to 30 per cent. The rise is due to the fact that the Rome council passed a resolution making it a crime to take coins from the fountain.”
He also described the situation prior to the resolution: “Before, there were gangs of thieves who managed to steal a lot. When they were stopped, we saw a lot more money.”
In 2010, the charity received £652,500, but last year, the total value rose to £740,500.
According to legend, tourists who toss a coin into the fountain will be able to return to the Italian capital. With the number of coins increasing, this means Rome can expect more tourists in the future.
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