Italian authorities have launched an investigation after an effigy of teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg was found hanged under a Rome bridge.
Pictures posted on social media show the effigy sporting two blond braids. It also reportedly had a sign saying: “Greta is your God.”
Rome mayor, Virginia Raggi, from the ruling populist Five Star Movement (M5S) described the effigy as “shameful” and expressed solidarity with the Swedish activist and her family.
Vergognoso il manichino di @GretaThunberg ritrovato appeso a un ponte nella nostra città. A lei e alla sua famiglia la mia solidarietà e quella di tutta @Roma. Il nostro impegno sul clima non si ferma. pic.twitter.com/YXMXMJDA3D
— Virginia Raggi (@virginiaraggi) October 7, 2019
The country’s environment minister also condemned the effigy as an “unacceptable and criminal
Il #fantoccio trovato appeso a un ponte di #Roma offende e ingiuria @GretaThunberg. Ognuno di noi, ogni cittadino impegnato per il #clima e il #Pianeta, e non solo, deve sentirsi colpito. È un atto inaccettabile e criminale, che ci vedrà ancora più compatti sullo stesso fronte. pic.twitter.com/CUY7NXNiJj
— Sergio Costa (@SergioCosta_min) October 7, 2019
Leader of the Democratic Party — the junior coalition partner — Nicola Zingaretti said the hanged effigy amounted to “gruesome violence”.
“We strongly condemn this gesture,” he added.
Contro Greta Thunberg anche violenza macabra! Condanniamo con forza questo gesto di chi non rispetta le idee quando non le condivide pic.twitter.com/XCm94QKYss
— Nicola Zingaretti (@nzingaretti) October 7, 2019
Thunberg launched the school strike — also known as Fridays for Future — movement over a year ago to demand the Swedish government take greater action to tackle the climate crisis.
The movement has since spread globally and Thunberg has addressed multiple institutions including the European Parliament and the American Congress.
Last month, she scolded world leaders at the UN’s climate change summit, telling them they had stolen her childhood with “empty words”.
It comes as climate protests hit Rome on Monday as part of a two-week campaign by Extinction Rebellion.