THE BLITHERING IDIOTS
Employees at the Dutch company Royal Woudenberg have offered their services in repairing a 400-year-old Pietro Bernini fountain damaged by a group of drunken Dutch soccer fans last week, Reuters reports.
During a Europa League match between the Rotterdam team of Feyenoord and the Italian team AS Roma , fans not only trashed the La Barcaccia fountain and surrounding area, which is at the foot of the Spanish Steps, but also caused permanent damage to the structure, which is now chipped and splintered. The city is still investigating the full extent of the damages, and residents have laid flowers on the boat-shaped fountain. Italian police arrested 29 vandals.
Royal Woudenberg, which is owned by parent company Janssen de Jong and is credited with renovating Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum, is prepared to spend up to €50,000 ($56,795) on the repairs, and will seek outside help should the cost exceed that number. The Dutch government has said it will support individual initiatives to make good the damage.
The employees reportedly came up with the idea while discussing the damage to the fountain during their lunch break on Tuesday. They extended the offer via a letter to the Italian ambassador stationed in the Netherlands.
“We found what happened really shocking and wanted to make a gesture to the Italians,” said Lily Derksen, a spokesperson for Janssen de Jong. “We simply said we would be happy to repair the fountain.”
Dutch Justice Minister Ivo Opstelten also announced on Tuesday that Dutch authorities are sending a team to Rome to aid Italian police.