Rome's Villa Pamphilj park is being vandalised at night

Villa Pamphilj park has been vandalised three times during recent nights.

Rome's parks are closed, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, but recently the city's largest park, Villa Pamphilj, has been subjected to vandalism on several occasions.

The most recent incident, as highlighted by Rome mayor Virginia Raggi, involved the destruction of the 12 lilies carved on the columns of the Cupid fountain on the night of 13 April.

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Raggi tweeted photographs of the damage which she described as "a shameful episode, carried out by real barbarians", adding that she hopes the vandals will be "identified immediately and punished."

Located in front of the Casino del Bel Respiro, the cupid fountain was created in 1855 based on a design by Italian architect Andrea Busiri Vici.

Other recent vandalism in Villa Pamphilj

On the night of 5 April two statues in the park were destroyed, days after some ancient flower pots were smashed.

Raggi described the vandals as "cowards" and said their actions were "shameful, especially in the midst of a Coronavirus emergency."

Those responsible risk a prison sentence of between three months and a year for damage, in addition to a fine of up to €3,000 for breaking into the park in violation of the nationwide lockdown, according to Italian newspaper La Repubblica.

Photos La Repubblica