In The Frame
In The Frame
In The Frame

Rome to remove graffiti defacing Kentridge’s graffiti

by The Art Newspaper  |  6 April 2017
Rome to remove graffiti defacing Kentridge’s graffiti
William Kentridge during the unveiling of Triumphs and Laments, his 550m-long frieze for Rome (Photo: Sebastiano Luciano)
Who says the Eternal City doesn’t care about contemporary art? Roman authorities have responded to a plea from the South African artist William Kentridge to remove the graffiti defacing Triumphs and Laments, his 550m-long mural along the river Tiber. Since it was unveiled last April, the giant frieze has fallen foul of local vandals, who have filled the gaps between the figures—each one representing a moment in the history of Rome—with their own coloured tags. The mayor’s office announced today (6 April) that a clean-up team will this week “restore the dignity” of the work in close collaboration with the Johannesburg-based artist. But Kentridge fans should rush to see it while they still can. Made using the “reverse graffiti” technique of power-washing the grime off the embankment walls, the images are designed to fade over time as the pollution builds up again. “The fact that the work is destined to disappear is part of the concept,” the artist tells the Italian newspaper La Repubblica. 

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