Rome's Trevi Fountain dyed red by activist known for vandalizing famous monuments

An Italian activist poured red dye into the Trevi Fountain on Thursday — 10 years after he pulled the same stunt vandalizing one of Rome's most famous monuments.

Graziano Cecchini insisted that the dye wouldn't harm the fountain and was intended as a protest against Rome's corruption and filth.

Graziano Cecchini pours red paint in the water of the Trevi Fountain, in Rome, Italy, Thursday,  Oct. 26, 2017. A self-proclaimed artist, Cecchini repeated the same act that stunned the world 10 years ago, on Oct. 19, 2007. (Massimo Percossi/ANSA via AP)

Graziano Cecchini pours red paint in the water of the Trevi Fountain, in Rome, Italy, Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017. A self-proclaimed artist, Cecchini repeated the same act that stunned the world 10 years ago, on Oct. 19, 2007. (Massimo Percossi/ANSA via AP)  (ANSA)

According to witnesses, Cecchini managed to climb onto the side of the fountain and poured the dye in, turning the Trevi pool into a murky red lake. Police escorted him from the scene.

In a statement, Cecchini said the protest was a "cry that Rome isn't dead, that it's alive and ready to return to be the capital of art, life and Renaissance."

Graziano Cecchini is taken into custody after pouring red paint in the water of the Trevi Fountain, in Rome, Italy, Thursday,  Oct. 26, 2017. A self-proclaimed artist, Cecchini repeated the same act that stunned the world 10 years ago, on Oct. 19, 2007. (Massimo Percossi/ANSA via AP)

Graziano Cecchini is taken into custody after pouring red paint in the water of the Trevi Fountain, in Rome, Italy, Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017. A self-proclaimed artist, Cecchini repeated the same act that stunned the world 10 years ago, on Oct. 19, 2007. (Massimo Percossi/ANSA via AP)  (ANSA)

Cecchini was also responsible for sending thousands of colored plastic balls down Rome's Spanish Steps in 2008.

During Cecchini's first red Trevi stunt in 2010, a rightwing group claimed responsibility and said it was to protest the cost of organizing the Rome Film Festival. It said the red dye referred to the festival's red carpet.

The 2017 edition of the festival opened Thursday.