July 15, 2009

Jobless man protests atop Rome fountain

A man who made headlines by stealing coins from Rome's famous Trevi Fountain has been arrested three times for climbing the landmark and threatening suicide.

The fountain was closed to tourists Monday after Roberto Cancelletto, 57, who was nicknamed D'Artagnan by newspapers during his 30-year career of taking coins from the fountain with a sword-like magnet, climbed to the top of the landmark, cut his stomach with a razor blade and threatened suicide while lamenting his lack of employment, ANSA reported Wednesday.

He agreed to come down from the fountain and receive medical attention at a hospital after about an hour of negotiations with police.

Police said the incident marked the third time this year Cancelletto has climbed the fountain to complain about not having a job and threaten suicide. They said the second incident took place earlier this week.

Authorities said he may be fined $366 or officials may decide to ban him from the fountain area to prevent him from repeating the stunt a fourth time.