Art project paints an unflattering picture of urban renewal in Rome

Oct 13, 2017 487

The ruins of a landmark industrial building in Rome have become home to an art project that casts an unflattering light on the Italian capital’s patchy record of urban regeneration. Sections of the abandoned shell of the Mira Lanza, a former soap factory, now house a collection of works by Seth, a French street artist who camped illegally on the rubbish-strewn site for two months last year.

Looked after by a group of Roma migrants, who are living inside the ruins, the paintings and installations created from the on-site debris are already starting to decay. And that is the point, according to Stefano Antonelli, a director of 999Contemporary, the not-for-profit organisation behind the initiative. Piled-up books, which initially appeared to provide a seat for a boy painted on to the brick walls of the listed 19th-century building, have fallen over and now lie encrusted in mud on the soggy floor.

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