Italy: Rome street art highlights Renzi's links with Saudi Arabia

Renzi's attendance at a high-profile conference in Saudi Arabia sparked controversy in Italy.

Italy's former premier Matteo Renzi has been depicted in a new mural in the capital, on Via dei Chiavari, by the prolific Rome street artist Harry Greb.

Titled New Renaissance, the image features the leader of the Italia Viva (IV) party shaking hands with Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia.

The mural is a reference to Renzi's controversial recent presence at a conference in Riyadh, first reported by Italian newspaper Domani, which he attended after triggering a political crisis in Italy.

During the high-level conference Renzi, the former mayor of Florence, praised the "great" crown prince and suggested that "Saudi could be a place for a new Renaissance for the future."

Renzi's visit to Riyadh, just days after he plunged Italy into political chaos, was rounded on by the Italian media and public who raised the issue of Saudi's record on human rights, women's rights, and freedom of press.

The trip to Saudi Arabia also prompted questions about quarantine protocols and potential conflicts of interest.

In the wake of the controversy Italy introduced a permanent ban on the sale of arms to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Photo ANSA