Italy’s Famed Scala dei Turchi Cliffs Vandalised, Probe Launched

The cliffs were vandalised by unidentified miscreants using red powdered oxide. (Image: RaiNews)

The Sicilian authorities along with volunteers have already begun the restoration work. The locals, according to news reports, are upset over the act.

  • Last Updated:January 10, 2022, 09:10 IST

Vandals earlier this week stained the famed cliffs of Italy’s Scala dei Turchi prompting an investigation by the local police. The staircase-like cliffs made of marlstone were stained red with a mix of red plaster dust and water, according to a report by news agency BBC.

Volunteers are now helping clean the red stain – using a powdered iron oxide, which fortunately, can be removed – from the cliffs which are a tourist attraction in Italy’s Sicily. The police officials are screening CCTV footage and the island’s stores to trace perpetrators who may have brought the red plaster. The local government criticised the vandals for their actions. A report by the Guardian also said that the sea waves also helped the volunteers who were working to remove the stains.

Sicily’s President Nello Musumeci called the act a ‘cowardly gesture’. “We condemn the perpetrators of this cowardly gesture. It constitutes an outrage not only to an asset of rare beauty, but also to the image of our island. I hope the judiciary quickly identifies those responsible,” Musumeci was quoted as saying by news agency The Guardian.

The Scala dei Turchi cliffs – popularised due to the books of Sicilian detective Inspector Montalbano’s fictional novels by the late author Andrea Camilleri – are also historically known for being a hiding place of pirates.

The report also highlighted that Scala dei Turchi earlier was in the headlines after a group of Italian prosecutors pointed out that the tourist spot was not being run well. This was one year after the cliffs, also known as the Turkish Steps, was a candidate for Unesco world heritage status in 2019.

The cliffs have also undergone natural erosion due to the large number of tourists every year. Some tourists, according to reports by news agencies, also stole rocks from the site.

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