Naked protest at St. Peter’s Basilica: A man strips naked and stands on the main altar during a war protest in Ukraine before Vatican guards take him away
- The tourist undressed and stood naked on the main altar
- The protester appeared to have scribbled “Save children in Ukraine” on his back
Visitors to St. Peter’s Basilica got an unexpected boost on Thursday when a naked man jumped onto the high altar of the Vatican church.
The tourist stripped naked and stood naked on the main altar in the center of the church in protest against the war in Ukraine.
The unclothed protester, who has not been identified, appeared to have the words “Save the children in Ukraine” scrawled on his back in black marker.
He was wearing nothing but his socks and shoes as other visitors were appalled at his undressed state under the canopy of St. Peter’s where the saint is buried below.
Others took photos of the surprise moment at the 16th century church, Silere No Possum reported, which some Italian media described as a blasphemous act.
The protester was wearing nothing but his socks and shoes as other visitors were appalled at his undressed state under the St. Peter’s canopy on Thursday, Silere No Possum reported
As well as having an inscription painted on his back calling for saving the children of Ukraine, the man is also said to have suffered self-inflicted cuts to his body from his fingernails.
The Vatican Gendarmerie rushed to pick up the man, forcing him to get dressed and descend from the consecrated altar.
Officials then handed the protester over to Italian police who took him for questioning.
The episode happened just before the basilica closed to visitors on Thursday afternoon.
The high altar is under the baldachin of St. Peter – a large baroque baldachin in sculpted bronze – in the center of the church under the dome.
It marks the location of St. Peter’s tomb below and was installed in the 1600s.
He was wearing only his socks and shoes as other visitors were appalled at his undressed state in St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican (file image)
The tourist stripped and stood completely naked on the main altar of St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican (file image April 6, 2023)
This isn’t the first time a visitor to Vatican City has wiped down their gear.
In 2016, a nurse was arrested by the Vatican Gendarmerie after she exposed everything and entered the building in front of shocked worshippers.
Brazilian Luis Carlos Giampaoli reportedly entered the church dressed in clothes, hiding in a corner to undress before bursting out wearing only shoes and a backpack.
He strode through the main nave of the basilica while shouting church litanies and gesticulating to onlookers.
Giampaoli was then taken to a psychiatric ward at Santo Spirito Hospital in Rome.