LifestyleMatera Anger: Parkour stunts spark outrage over heritage damage

Matera Anger: Parkour stunts spark outrage over heritage damage

Matera is a charming Italian town
Matera is a charming Italian town
Images source: © Adobe Stock
ed. NGU

20 June 2024 12:02

Matera is a unique region of Italy that has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List for over 30 years. A heated discussion broke out online when it was revealed what the London parkour group, Team Phat, was doing in this location. Italians are fed up, and internet users are not holding back their words.

Each year, about 1 million tourists visit the city of Matera in southern Italy. They are captivated by the architecture and atmosphere of a place that was recognised as the European Capital of Culture in 2019. However, the historic buildings are deteriorating due to parkour practitioners' activities there.

Destroying Italian heritage

Parkour is an intriguing sport that involves overcoming obstacles, mainly in urban spaces, using various techniques in the simplest and fastest way possible. No one would have anything against those practising this discipline if they did not destroy cultural heritage, precisely what the London group is doing.

The men of Team Phat post videos on their social media showing off their parkour stunts. The latest videos, recorded in the Italian town, depict them jumping on historical structures. A real storm has erupted in the comments under the videos.

"This city is on the UNESCO heritage list for a reason. It needs to be taken care of, not destroyed," "This is immature, disrespectful, and stupid behaviour that leads to the damage of priceless historical monuments," "I hope they are fined," "This is not parkour; this is called vandalism," write internet users in the comments.

Destroying monuments and risking their lives

The biggest uproar was caused by a video published at the end of May on the Instagram of the London group. It shows a man jumping from one building to the wall of another and suddenly falling. Not only does he damage the historical wall, but he also puts himself in great danger. "They should pay for this!" "I love you, and you are my inspiration, but destroying monuments for fun is selfish, and this small town looks so lovely. Was it really necessary?" "They should be banned from entering Italy," thunder internet users.

"I am Italian and have been practising parkour for almost 9 years. The places can be crazy, but Matera should never be used as a parkour park," wrote another user, and his comment received over 1,500 reactions.

Source: Team_Phat/CNN Travel

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