The mayor of Rome, Virginia Raggi, has decided to take control of the 1.5 million euros (1.7 million dollars) that tourists throw in the trash. Italian the iconic fountain of the capital, Trevi, while making a wish.
The ruling sparked a clash between the city council and the Roman Catholic church, as the money was until now used by a charity called Caritas, run by the church.
The charity said it covered 15% of its expenses with the treasure caught.
By canceling a practice that began in 2001, Raggi decided that the money brought to the fountain would be used to maintain Rome's cultural assets and infrastructure.
The City Council's decision is expected to come into effect on April 1st.
according to For Avvenire, an Italian newspaper affiliated with the Catholic Church, money from the fountain was used, among other activities, to fund soup kitchens, social assistance programs and a center for -shelter.
The newspaper criticized Saturday the move with a story entitled "Money taken from the poorest".
The charity also intervened on social media, asking the mayor to reconsider his decision and reminding him "5,000 volunteers, 300 social workers and 145 Catholic centers" involved in this body.
– Caritas Roma (@CaritasRoma) August 13, 2019
The city council's decision to take back the fountain's money was first proposed in 2017, but it was suspended.
The latest decision sparked mixed reactions, many also wondering why the church should have exclusive rights to money.
The Trevi Fountain, commissioned by Pope Clement XII in 1732, is visited every year by millions of tourists.
A Report of the BBC The coinage tradition was made famous by the song "Three Coins in the Fountain" by singer Frank Sinatra in a 1954 film of the same name.