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Italian avenue artist battles racism by turning swastikas into cupcakes

Swastikas on the wall develop into big cupcakes with purple icing, and the phrases “my Hitler” are remodeled into “my muffins”. All in a day’s work for the Italian avenue artist who fights racism by turning nasty graffiti into meals.

“I take care of my city by replacing symbols of hate with delicious things to eat,” says the 39-year-old artist, whose actual identify is Pier Paolo Spinazze and whose skilled identify, Cibo, is the Italian phrase for meals.

On a current sunny morning he had been alerted by certainly one of his 363,000 Instagram followers that there have been swastikas and racial slurs in a small tunnel on the outskirts of Verona.

Italian avenue artist Pier Paolo Spinazze makes use of spray paint to cowl racist graffiti with a mural of pizza, close to Verona, Italy. (REUTERS/Chiara Negrello)

Up he turned, carrying his signature straw hat and necklace of stuffed sausages. He took out his bag of spray paints and set to work, whereas vehicles drove by beeping.

He coated up the slurs with a shiny slice of margherita pizza and a caprese salad – mozzarella, tomatoes and basil. A swastika was remodeled into an enormous purple tomato. As he created the murals within the tunnel, which every took round quarter-hour, folks drove by, peering out of their home windows to stare and wave.

One artwork instructor wound down her window to go with his work.

Lately human rights teams have warned of rising racism in Italy following mass immigration from Africa. Fascist tradition and wartime dictator Benito Mussolini nonetheless have a tough core of admirers.

street artist, Cibo Italy, Cibo street artist ‘Cibo’ packs a bag of spray paint that he makes use of to cowl racist graffiti with murals of meals, in his studio close to Verona, Italy. (REUTERS/Chiara Negrello)

As he has develop into an area movie star in Verona, he has additionally made enemies: “Cibo sleep with the lights on!” somebody spray painted on a wall. He turned the risk into the components of a gnocchi recipe.

“Dealing with extremists is never good, because they are violent people, they are used to violence, but they are also cowards and very stupid,” Spinazze mentioned.

“The important thing is to rediscover values that we may have forgotten, especially anti-fascism and the fight against totalitarian regimes that stem from the Second World War,” he mentioned. “We must remind ourselves of these values.”

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