Keith Haring's lost Rome murals

The story of Keith Haring's long-lost murals in Rome.

Rome once boasted two murals by Keith Haring - the celebrated American artist whose pop art and graffiti-like work originated in the New York City street culture of the 1980s - however sadly both murals were subsequently removed.

Haring created his first Rome mural in 1984 as part of an unprecedented exhibition of New York graffiti at Palazzo delle Esposizioni on Via Nazionale in the city centre.

As part of the show, Haring undertook one of his mischievous murals – a cartoon creature barking at running figures – on the Via Milano side of the museum.

It remained there until the visit of USSR president Michail Gorbachev in 1992 when then Rome mayor Franco Carraro had the mural removed. 

Keith Haring's lost mural on the Flaminio-Lepanto metro bridge. Photo Stefano Fontebasso De Martin.

During Haring's second visit to Rome in the mid-1980s, the artist painted another mural on the transparent panels of the Flaminio-Lepanto metro bridge over the Tiber.

However this too was removed by the city in 2000, Jubilee Year, ten years after Haring's death from AIDS.

Andy Devane

Both images from collection of Stefano Fontebasso De Martin.