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Rome Mayor Quickly Reverses Plan to Keep Fountain Coins

Virginia Raggi suggested the city keep them, but they'll continue to go to Catholic charity
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 14, 2019 4:04 PM CST
A woman tosses a coin into the Trevi fountain in downtown Rome.   (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

(Newser) – The proper way to toss a coin into Rome's famed Trevi fountain is to do so over your shoulder. Just don't think about what happens after that, because it's apparently quite the touchy subject. The city of Rome has traditionally given the tossed coins—they add up to about $1.7 million a year, per the BBC—to a Catholic charity, but Mayor Virginia Raggi caused a ruckus by proposing the city start keeping the money. After a swift outcry, she has quickly backtracked, and then some, reports the Telegraph.

“Caritas, and all the thousands of people who are helped by its members, can rest assured," she tells the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, referring to the name of the charity. "I can confirm that the coins will remain at the disposition of its charitable activities." What's more, the mayor said coins from other fountains in the city also will go to Caritas. An example of the outcry that prompted the about-face: A newspaper of an Italian bishops' conference ran the headline, "Money taken from the poorest." Legend has it that tossing a coin into the fountain ensures the tosser will return to Rome. (Tossing coins for good luck sometimes has unfortunate consequences.)

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