A proposal to gate in the statue of 16th-century philosopher Giordano Bruno in central Rome's Campo de' Fiori area has received approval from the local district council.
The plan was put forward by the Popolo della Libertà (PDL) along with other political parties, in light of security concerns in the square.
The notion of closing off the statue's steps – a popular meeting place with Romans and tourists – was met with strong disapproval from the Partito Democratico (PD). The proposal would only "increase degradation" according to the PD's city council representative Livia Di Stefano.
Di Stefano said her party opposes the "closing in" of the Bruno statue, a "symbol of freedom" who was burned at the stake for heresy in 1600.
Describing the statue as an integral part of the square, she claimed that the high-profile issues of anti-social behaviour in Campo de' Fiori would not be resolved by closing off the statue.
"If this idea is passed [by the city] then we should close off all Roman monuments" she said.
A similar proposal put forward about ten years ago to gate in the Pantheon to prevent “anti-social” behaviour eventually came to nothing. All that now remains of the idea are little brass bobbles along the side walls where people love to sit. These cover the sockets where the fencing might have gone.