A string of rainbow Christmas lights decorated above Rome's main shopping street has left right-wing politicians in the city fuming. AFP reports:
City assemblywoman Imma Battaglia (pictured right) says she and mayor Ignazio Marino had decided to send a message with the multi-coloured lights, which ripple for a kilometre and a half (0.9 miles) of the bustling Via del Corso.
Battaglia, who also leads a gay rights campaign group, said the lights were intended to be against homophobia following the suicide of a gay teenager in the city.
"That is how we came up with the rainbow flag idea," said Battaglia, who is from the leftist Sel party, but added that they could also be seen as a peace symbol.
The decoration, however, did not sit well with conservative politicians in the city, with some in the right-wing Fratelli d'Italia (Italian Brothers) party labeling the idea "provocative" and "ideological." As a result of the controversy, the company behind the installation announced that the rainbow-colored theme would now be dedicated to the late Nelson Mandela so that "the message of love, tolerance, unity and sharing will become stronger."
Video of the lights, AFTER THE JUMP...