Shocking footage captures parkour runner damaging UNESCO World Heritage Site in Italy

17 June 2024, 16:21 | Updated: 17 June 2024, 16:38

The parkour runner damaged the UNESCO World Heritage Site building in Italy in a parkour stunt
The parkour runner damaged the UNESCO World Heritage Site building in Italy in a parkour stunt. Picture: Instagram/@lucatommassinidreamer

By Will Conroy

Footage has emerged of an extreme runner damaging a UNESCO World Heritage Site building in Italy in a parkour stunt that went badly wrong.

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The unidentified free runner destroyed part of a wall that he attempted to jump onto in the ancient city of Matera before falling to the ground and appearing to injure his ankle.

In the footage of the attempted stunt that emerged on social media, the man can be heard shouting: “Oh no, f***.” Others heard in the video appear to have English accents.

It appears that the extreme runner was attempting to spring off a ledge but it crumbled beneath him as he landed on it after jumping between roofs.

The man fell heavily on the ground below and can be seen sitting against the wall and in pain as he held his right ankle.

The man fell heavily and can be seen holding his right ankle.
The man fell heavily and can be seen holding his right ankle. Picture: Instagram/@lucatommassinidreamer

Matera is a historic cliffside city in the Basilicata region and has been a protected UNESCO site since 1993 after being evacuated at stages between the 1950s and 1970s amid safety concerns.

The footage was shared on social media by choreographer Luca Tommassini, who condemned the activities of the parkour runner.

The old town of Sassi di Matera is a UNESCO World Heritage Site (CTK Photo/Jiri Vatka)
The old town of Sassi di Matera is a UNESCO World Heritage Site (CTK Photo/Jiri Vatka). Picture: Alamy

He said: “It's a UNESCO World Heritage Site. How dare you? Do you know where you are and what you are touching?

“Matera should not be used as a parkour park, that stone could have been there when America was discovered or even before.”

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It is unknown if the police are investigating the incident but it is the most recent example of tourists causing anger among Italian locals.

A Dutch tourist was arrested earlier this month for vandalising the Domus excavations, which survived the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, with Graffiti.

The Vasari Corridor on Ponte Vecchio bridge in Florence
The Vasari Corridor on Ponte Vecchio bridge in Florence. Picture: Alamy

The vandal had used a black permanent marker and Italian police said in a statement that the graffiti matched the man's signature.

In 2023, two German men were detained by police after they were caught covering the nearly 500-year-old columns of Florence’s Vasari Corridor with football graffiti.

In recent years, tourists have also caused anger by swimming in ancient fountains in the summer months.

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