VATICAN CITY (AP) — An Italian man gave up his protest atop the St. Peter's Basilica on Wednesday evening, after more than 24 hours perched on the 130-meter-high (426-foot) dome to demonstrate against government reforms.
Two firefighters helped pull Marcello De Finizio inside the basilica a full day after he had eluded Vatican security to scale the dome and unfurl a banner reading: "Help! Enough Monti!" — referring to President Mario Monti, the architect of Italy's economic reforms.
De Finizio was taken directly to the Rome police station, but told The Associated Press by cellphone that it was a "formality" and he did not expect to face any charges.
It was the second time in three months that De Finizio had scaled the dome. His previous protest at St. Peter's in July lasted only four hours, he said, and nothing came of it.
He also spent three nights on a 70-meter-tall (230-foot) metal structure in Trieste earlier this year, and said a judge cleared him of charges of causing an alarm.
De Finizio said he did not suffer any particular discomfort during the latest protest, which he ended after Tourism Minister Piero Gnudi agreed to meet with a delegation of beach concession owners to discuss new rules governing the sector.