blu-bologna-1In one single hectic night, Italian legend BLU managed to buff twenty years of paintings on the city’s walls in order to prevent them from ending up in a museum.
BLU’s decision is a reaction to the Genus Bononiae event Street Art – Banksy & Co. L’arte allo stato urbano. The exhibition consists of several pieces the works of the best known writers removed from the walls in order to display them – in some cases without the authors’ consent – in an exhibition on street art that will open to the public next Thursday in the city’s historic Palazzo Pepoli.
According to this institution the exhibition’s purpose is to «salvage them from demolition and preserve them from the injuries of time», which means turning them into museum pieces.
Genus Bononiae is a cultural institution with strong ties to big banks and chaired chaired by former dean of the local university Fabio Roversi Monaco. The new exhibition is regarded by the local street art community as outrageous, specially after the fact that the museum keeps taking possession of a few chosen street pieces, whilst the judicial power keeps punishing its authors.
The background for BLU’s decision was expressed through the writers collective Wu Ming and their blog “Giap”:
“It doesn’t matter whether the pieces removed from the walls of Bologna are two or fifty. It doesn’t matter whether those walls were part of condemned buildings or part of the landscape in the northern outskirts of town. It doesn’t even matter that seeing street art exhibited in a museum is paradoxical and grotesque. This “street art” exhibition is representative of a model of urban space that we must fight, a model based on private accumulation which commodifies life and creativity for the profits of the usual few people.”
In their quest to ‘salvage’ Bologna’s street art, they loosed their most precious treasures… sad news.

Read more about this tragic event here.

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Author: Fran

Founder and editor of Urbanite. Street Art lover who after the finishing her MA thesis on the muralist movement in the 1920-50s, developed a fascination for street art and graffiti that eventually led to collaborations with different art blogs, including the creation of this one.