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Italian wedding dress designer burned entire collection to protest coronavirus ban

Kelly McLaughlin , Business Insider US
 May 05, 2020, 08:56 AM
Bogdan Kurylo/Getty Images
  • Italy eased its coronavirus lockdown measures on Monday, but large ceremonies like weddings are still on hold.
  • To protest the ban on weddings, Pietro Demita, the owner of Diamond Couture in Lecce, Italy, burned his entire 2020-2021 wedding dress collection.
  • "Even if I hadn't, the economic and political decisions imposed during the coronavirus crisis would have sent them up in smoke anyway," he told The Observer.
  • For mores stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

A wedding dress designer in Italy says he set his entire 2020-2021 collection on fire to protest the country's ban on wedding ceremonies during the coronavirus pandemic.

''I set my creations alight, the fruits of my talent and my artistry, to send a strong message," Pietro Demita, the owner of Diamond Couture in Lecce, Italy, told The Observer. "Because, even if I hadn't, the economic and political decisions imposed during the coronavirus crisis would have sent them up in smoke anyway."

There don't appear to be any photos of the burned dresses, but he also told his story to La Gazzetta Del Mezzogiorno, a local paper in Italy.

Italy has been under lockdown for nearly two months to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The country was hit hard by the virus, and so far more than 211,000 people have tested positive for Covid-19, and 29,079 people have died.

Italy, which has had the longest coronavirus lockdown in Europe, plans to reopen further in coming weeks and months. Lockdown measures were eased on Monday, and Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte told Italians last week that they could visit their families and close friends, according to NPR.

About 4 million people were expected to return to work on Monday, and public transportation services were restored around the country. Some also businesses reopened and small funerals were given the go-ahead to carry on.

Weddings and other large gatherings, however, still appear out of the question - the Italian government wants the virus reproduction rate to slow further before ceremonies can be held again, CNN reported.

Demita told La Gazzetta Del Mezzogiorno that many wedding-related businesses are at risk of failing because of the economic effect of the coronavirus and said he and others are asking for help.

He said he set fire to his dresses because the government's economic and political decisions "set fire to our future and our dreams."

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