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Graffiti or Art? Rome launches groundbreaking project for 'street artists'

2012-07-22

ANDREA MESSORI
WALLS Association
"A lot of people like that are people that have special talents, special techniques that they want to show to people.”

City leaders and artists agreed that under this project, graffiti artists will be allowed to do their work legally in 31 spots around Rome. Locals are hoping it will encourage people to actually work on their art, in designated areas, instead if simply writing on walls.

PAOLO COLASANTI
WALLS Association

"In Rome people already do it illegally, so there is definitely a need to have these walls for this type of art work. So, basically, whoever wants to do it can.”

This project was inaugurated outside of Rome's Monti Tiburtini metro station, where thousands of people pass every day. Part of the goal, is for people to see these cans, not as a nuisance, but as paintbrushes.

ANDREA MESSORI
WALLS Association

"They have something special they want to communicate to people and they need time to realize the projects.”

With a total of 31 spots around the city, some walls will be 'free for all' so to speak. Others, will have to be reserved for up to three months, for bigger more thought out projects. But organizers say, it's not just about art, it's also about employment. They're hoping artists will improve their skills and perhaps attract notoriety and even clients looking for artists.

ANDREA MESSORI
WALLS Association
"Invest more time. Invest in projects. Invest in a creative idea. Trying to see how to organize this idea and adapt this idea to a space and to a neighborhood.”

This is the first project of its kind in Europe. Even though it's just getting started, organizers hope eventually every neighborhood in Rome will jump on board, and have its own wall space, reserved for graffiti artists.

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