Italian authorities have opened an investigation after an effigy of Greta Thunberg was found hanging by a noose from a bridge in Rome.
Pictures of the disturbing model, which depicted the 16-year-old climate activist with a poncho and long plaits like those worn by the teenager, soon began circulating on social media.
The stunt has been slammed by politicians who condemned the violence the effigy was promoting, with Rome’s mayor Virginia Raggi expressing her ‘solidarity’ with Greta 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
In a post shared to Twitter, the mayor described the act as ‘shameful’, before saying the city’s commitment to the climate will not stop.
Raggi shared a picture of the mannequin alongside her message, which showed the effigy holding a sign written in English reading ‘Greta is your God’.
The Secretary of the Democratic Party, Nicola Zingaretti, also condemned the act of ‘gruesome violence’, adding: ‘We strongly condemn this gesture of those who do not respect ideas when they do not share them.’
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
According to Italian newspaper la Republica, a group called ‘The Awake’ have since claimed responsibility for the effigy, posting on social media about their actions.
They reportedly wrote:
We hanged Greta Thunberg in Rome. The dummy has its face and even its braids. Other actions will follow.
Italian officials said an inquiry into ‘aggravated threats’ had been opened on Monday (October 7), the MailOnline reports.
The shocking effigy comes just two weeks after the young climate activist stunned the world with a powerful speech at the United Nations Climate Summit about the climate emergency we are facing.
”People are suffering, people are dying, entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairytales of eternal economic growth.” Watch Greta Thunberg speak at the UN Monday morning. https://t.co/Akkxm9sXdr pic.twitter.com/ahHKlhbYaE
— WIRED (@WIRED) September 23, 2019
Greta told delegates:
This is all wrong. I shouldn’t be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet you have come to us young people for hope. How dare you.
People are suffering. People are dying and dying ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is the money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you.
For more than 30 years the science has been crystal clear. How dare you continue to look away and come here saying that you’re doing enough when the politics and solutions needed are still nowhere in sight.
Despite the teenager taking a stance when others have failed to do so, starting an important conversation about climate change and the state of our planet when world leaders have not, it seems some fully grown adults have taken a disliking to Greta.
Hence the hanging of the effigy and Donald Trump making a dig at the teenage activist – although that might just be because the 16-year-old is now the odds-on favourite to win a Nobel Peace Prize, a subject we know is a touchy one for the US president.
Ignore the haters Greta, we’re with you.
If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).