Graziano Cecchini Strikes Again

Read the orginal article from the Telegraph UK here.   CS Editor’s note:  I don’t know what I think of this guy or his reasons.  I do think the reactions to what he’s doing are funny.

Spanish Steps covered in balls by Italian artist

By Malcolm Moore in Rome

Last Updated: 2:27am GMT 17/01/2008

Five hundred thousand brightly coloured plastic balls bounced down the Spanish Steps in Rome in a stunt by an anarchic artist.

Graziano Cecchini, said each of the plastic balls “represented a lie told by a politician”.

Spanish steps in Rome
The clean-up begins after the stunt by artist Graziano Cecchini

He claimed it had cost him around £15,000 to turn the Spanish Steps into a scene from a children’s playground.

Delighted tourists grabbed the balls as mementoes as they collected at the base of the steps, in the Fountain of the Old Boat by Pietro Bernini.

As Mr Cecchini walked down the steps, with balls bouncing around him, he added: “I am leaving for Burma, these balls will help the Karen people.”

Spanish Steps in Rome
Police were called to the incident after 500 balls were dropped on the Spanish Steps

The Karen, an ethnic minority descended from Tibetan refugees, have fought for an independent state since 1949 and accuse the military junta of ethnic cleansing.

Last October, Mr Cecchini gained notoriety after colouring the Trevi Fountain with blood red dye.

At the time he said he wanted to highlight the plight of penniless artists in Italy.

Jean Leonard Touadi, the city’s head of security, said: “This behaviour is unacceptable. To err is human, but to persevere is diabolical. Trying to get publicity at the city’s cost is not funny.”

Spanish Steps in Rome
Some onlookers took balls as mementoes of the stunt

The police closed off the Piazza Spagna so the area could be cleaned.

Mr Cecchini is likely to be fined for his action.

Last June, a 24-year-old Colombian man attempted to drive his Toyota Celica down the steps at high speed, chipping some of the marble.

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