Rome mural dedicated to Daniza the bear

Belgian street artist ROA paints large outdoor mural in Prati

The Belgian artist ROA has completed a public mural dedicated to the wild bear Daniza on the façade of the Mercato Vittoria on Via Sabotino in the Prati district of Rome.

Daniza was a female brown bear, with two cubs, who mauled a man out searching for mushrooms near his home in northern Italy in the summer. The 18-year-old bear, who had been reintroduced into the wild in the Trentino region in 2000, died in September after being given an anaesthetic by officials attempting to capture her. The animal's death led to an outcry among environmentalists in Italy and around the world.

ROA's black and white mural depicts a fragile, orphaned baby bear, clasping the dart that killed its mother. The Belgian artist's work makes frequent reference to bio-diversity, in particular to animals, and he gifted his mural to the city free of charge.

His mural was the second in the Spray 4 Your Rights project, organised by the Dorothy Circus Gallery near Campo de' Fiori, with the support of Rome's commerce and tourism councillor Marta Leonori.

The project focuses on the theme of diversity and respect for human rights, and underlines the connection between the street art movement and the capital's substainable urban development.

The first segment in the project was carried out in May by Brazilian street artist Eduoardo Kobra's who dedicated a mural to Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala at the Museo dell'Altro e Dell'Altrove di Metropoliz_città meticcia (MAAM) in the Prenestina district of Rome.

In April ROA created a massive mural of a menacing, starved-looking wolf on Via Galvani near MACRO in Testaccio. The artist depicted Rome's historic symbol in a less-than flattering manner to highlight the "crisis and degradation of the city", however the project divided locals, some of whom claimed the finished result looked more like a giant rat than a wolf.

In the coming months ROA is expected to carry out another public mural in the Ostia district along Rome's coast.

Photo Arte Magazine.