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Spanish Steps Transformed In Artistic Protest

  • January 17th, 2008
  • Posted by Sian Graham

spanish-steps.jpgVisitors to Rome’s famous Spanish Steps may have had a little trouble walking them yesterday (16.12.08) after up to a million multicoloured balls cascaded down, filling the Piazza di Spagna and La Barcaccia fountain.

Artist Graziano Cecchini, the man held responsible for dying the Trevi Fountain red in October, claimed responsibility for the daring stunt.

Police later detained Cecchini along with three other political protesters dissatisfied with the Italian government.

‘This was an artistic gesture to demonstrate the problems we have in Italy and to do so I used art,’ Cecchini told reporters.

‘Both the Left and the Right are telling us so many lies and I and the Italians have had enough; they have broken our balls and hence this live art display,’ he said.

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While tourists found joy in the spectacle local authorities failed to see the bright side and were quick to move in the council cleaners.

The city council security chief Jean Leonard Touadi called it nothing more than a cheap irresponsible stunt.

‘Such behaviour is unacceptable, it is diabolical,’ he told England’s Daily Mail.

Cecchini admitted he was paid around €18 500 (A$30 795;, 17.1.08) by an anonymous sponsor to carry out the stunt, which may turn out to be helpful; officials plan to prosecute him for violating local sanitation laws.


Daily Mail, ‘A million coloured balls released down Spanish Steps in artist’s stunt’, 16.1.08.…, (17.1.08).

YouTube, ‘Radiohead The National Anthem Futurist Action in Rome’, 16.1.08.…, (17.1.08).

Picture:…, (17.1.08).