Graffiti in Rome

When I was in Rome back in September, I noticed a lot of graffiti on the walls of buildings. A recent article by BBC News “Historic Rome marred by graffiti” expands on this idea. It has been suggested that there is as many as 3,500 graffiti artists at work in the city while the city has a team of 16 at work cleaning up the graffiti – a losing battle. I really liked the ending of the article which tried to balance the art versus disfigurment argument.

  • “One famous book on the subject of graffiti is entitled Vandals and Crusaders. It depicts the street sprayers as modern artists whose work needs to be appreciated as much as conventional imagery committed to canvas. But is it mainstream, or merely a maintenance headache? The best graffiti sells for thousands of dollars; the rest, like those on many Roman walls, seems alien in such beautiful surroundings. Italy gave the world the word “graffiti”, but it does not always like to be reminded what that can mean. “

RSM

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