Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Florence: choked with grafitti

My husband is from Florence and we have spent a lot of time here- living full time from 97-2000 and since then we return about once a year. We live in the central historic part of Florence- near Brunaleschi's  Santo Spirito and around the corner from Piazza del Carmine. It's a real florentine neighborhood- a bit off the big tourist track, and filled with colorful characters and dramas.

Around 2006 when I came for a visit I noticed something- the city was starting to be touched with graffiti- I took this image then because it was so unusual to see spray painted graffiti in the historic center...
How was I to know, it was the shape of things to come?

Since then, we've returned a few times, and each visit I see more and more tagging and disrespect for this city's cultural masterpieces. Two summers ago when we were here the big news was that they found some exchange student (not American, thankfully) who was spray painting the Duomo. Having been caught, he was sent back to his home country's justice system- I'm hoping he got his due.

Here are some images from Easter 2009- 

on the doorway of Santo Spirito

down a side street (OK, I admit, I actually kind of like this one...)
coca cola assasina

and this year, I'm noticing even more graffiti- (these images were taken tonight on via Maggio- a main street on the Pitti palace "Oltrarno" side of town-where a celebrated Medici mistress resided )

in fact, the streets that were being painted over 2 years ago have now stopped re-painting- it looks as though they've given up hope- I can only hope that the money that had been spent on re-painting is now being spent on youth programs that can help channel this creative/destructive energy into meaningful skills- I doubt it, but, I hope, nevertheless...

whoa! clip clop clip clop......
*getting down off my high horse*

Sorry, I just get so bothered by the inaction here- this city is so important culturally, but life here isn't all "Room with a View". I think this issue needs a bit of attention, or the world risks losing a real Italian Gem.
- from Florence-
M

1 comment:

Janet Bocciardi said...

Sad indeed.. I noticed this past fall in much of Italy in the towns along the coast a lot of tagging and graffiti.

In the U.S. I think it's gotten better in some cities with youth art programs and tackling gangs, but in these very old cities filled with beautiful ancient architecture it's even more sad to me. The fact that the one that was caught was not Italian makes me wonder about a lack of love and respect for the culture.

It's worth bringing up though. I hope there is action being taken and perhaps something they can learn from cities that have had success in keeping it off their historic streets.

Enjoy your trip - you're lucky!

ganoksin

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