Italian environmental agency Legambiente has filed a complaint with the prosecutor's office in Rome after 60 young trees in Parco della Garbatella were destroyed by vandals.
The trees included olive, elm, oak, flowering cherry, persimmon, pear and apple, and each tree was systematically sawn off at a height of about 1m.
Located off Via Cristoforo Colombo in south Rome, in front of the Regione Lazio building, the green space had been reclaimed by Legambiente along with local groups and residents who over the last five years had planted the same 60 trees killed during the early hours of 25 August.
Legambiente says the vandalism has "destroyed five years of working together" while the mayor of Rome Ignazio Marino has pledged to "bring the park back to life, as well as [creating] new green areas." The president of the Lazio region Nicola Zingaretti, whose office is beside the park, has described the vandalism as a "grave act" that has devastated the "valuable work of citizens, associations and Legambiente."
Earlier in the summer there were minor cases of vandalism reported in the park, a 42,000-sqm parcel of former waste land that was bought by the city in 2007 before being transformed into a park and vegetable garden.
Photos Corriere della Sera