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Climate activists interrupt Italian Open in Rome

Tennis games in Rome halted by climate protesters.

Two tennis matches at the Italian Open were suspended on Monday following protests at the Foro Italico in Rome by climate activists from Italy's Ultima Generazione group.

The protesters interrupted a game between American Madison Keys and Romanian Sorana Cirstea on the Pietrangeli court, as well as a men's doubles match on Court 12.

The activists entered the courts wearing orange vests before throwing confetti and glueing themselves to the stands, halting play at the 81st edition of the prestigious sporting event.

Spectators reacted angrily to the interruption as the players returned to the locker rooms. The protesters were subsequently removed by police and play resumed on the courts.

The protests are the latest in a series of similar stunts in Rome and other Italian cities where activists have glued their hands to artworks, staged roadblocks and dyed the waters of historic fountains black to draw attention to the climate crisis.

Ultima Generazione is calling for a reparation fund of €20 billion "to support people who have suffered or will suffer in the near future damage from climate disasters".

In January the Italian parliament approved tough new penalties for those who damage or deface monuments and heritage sites, including fines of up to €60,000, as part of measures to tackle "eco-vandals".

Photo Internazionali BNL d'Italia

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