La Fontana del Moro
La Fontana del Moro (the Moor Fountain) is a fountain located at the southern end of the Piazza Navona in Rome, Italy. It represents a Moor, or African (perhaps originally meant to be Neptune), standing in a conch shell, wrestling with a dolphin, surrounded by four Tritons. It is placed in a basin of rose-colored marble.
The fountain was originally designed by Giacomo della Porta in 1575 with the dolphin and four Tritons. In 1653, the statue of the Moor, by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, was added. In 1874, during a restoration of the fountain, the original statues were moved to the Villa Borghese and replaced with copies.
In the early hours of Saturday, 3rd September 2011, the Fontana del Moro was damaged by a vandal. Police later found the man, who had been captured on security cameras climbing in the fountain, wielding a large rock and decapitating some of the larger and smaller figures, after they recognised him by his sneakers.
From the New York Times
September 5, 2011, 2:20 PM
Vandals, or at Least One, Sack a Roman Fountain
By CAROL VOGEL
The Moro Fountain on the southern end of the Piazza Navona in Rome was drained on Monday as restorers began reattaching two chunks of marble that were knocked off by a vandal.
On Saturday a man wearing white sneakers climbed in the fountain, repeatedly attacked one of four large faces at the edge of it with a cobblestone, then walked away, according to The Associated Press. The man, who was caught on security cameras, was later picked up by the police, who noticed his sneakers matched those of the vandal caught on camera. He confessed to the crime, the police said, and also to throwing a rock at the nearby Trevi Fountain a few hours later, which he missed.
The damage was to a 19th-century copy of the original Moro Fountain by the 16th-century artist Giacomo della Porta. (The originals are in the Villa Borgese.) Bernini added the central figure in the 1600’s.
Rome’s mayor, Gianni Alemanno, urged no clemency for the vandal, saying Italy must protect its artistic heritage with an “exemplary punishment.’’