Scala dei Turchi, authors of Saturday's vandalism identified

Carabinieri in Agrigento have identified the perpetrators of the vandalism against the Scala dei Turchi. One of them is a multiple felon who had been convicted of two bombings in the early 2000s.

Carabinieri from the Agrigento company have identified the perpetrators of the vandalism by which, on Saturday, the Scala dei Turchi, the famous white marl cliff located along the coast of Realmonte, in southern Sicily, was damaged. It only took the military 48 hours to find those responsible for the reckless act: they are two local men.

One of them is a 48-year-old multiple offender who, in 2001, had been responsible for an attack on the Temple of Concordia in Agrigento and another on the Milan subway, as well as two other failed attacks attributable to religious fanaticism (in 2001 the man had converted to Islam). Specifically, in Milan he had left a gas canister in a backpack and detonated it (fortunately, there were no casualties or injuries, only some officers slightly intoxicated by smoke and much panic), while in Agrigento, again in the same manner, he had detonated a camping gas canister on the steps of the temple of Concordia. Again, no casualties and no injuries, but only some superficial damage to the temple steps. In both cases, the man had left sheets with Arabic and Italian inscriptions praising Islam.

Last September, the same person had damaged the Punta Bianca cliff in Agrigento with red paint. For the Agrigento and Milan bombings, he had been sentenced definitively to 16 years in 2006: he spent time in Sicilian prisons (with an attempted escape in March 2012 in Ragusa) and had returned to freedom shortly before the act of vandalism at Punta Bianca, which dates back to November 2020.

Carabinieri traced the two perpetrators of the vandalism by looking at images recorded by video surveillance cameras and by carrying out a series of searches and checks between Realmonte, Favara, Agrigento and Porto Empedocle. From the footage, the military saw a Ford Transit van arriving at night at the Scala dei Turchi: the two perpetrators, who are seen in the images dragging sacks with iron oxide powder, then got out of the vehicle. After recording the license plate number, the carabinieri searched a warehouse traceable to the vehicle and found gloves soiled with the same red powder and other evidence.

Fortunately, the powder did not cause major damage to the Scala dei Turchi, so much so that by Sunday evening it had already been cleaned up by volunteers led by technicians from the Agrigento Superintendency and the municipality of Realmonte.

Scala dei Turchi, authors of Saturday's vandalism identified
Scala dei Turchi, authors of Saturday's vandalism identified

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