Kentridge mural saved from Tiber stalls

Rome resolves to move summer bars and stalls following petition to save Kentridge mural.

Rome has pledged to reorganise the placement of the Tevere Estate bars and shops along the banks of the Tiber, following a petition to halt the summer-long event from obscuring the recently-inaugurated frieze by William Kentridge.

The capital promised a definitive solution by 27 May, following a meeting between city officials, the culture ministry and the business association La Tredicesma which manages the Tevere Estate initiative.

The news has been welcomed by Tevereterno, the non-profit association behind Kentridge’s monumental project.

However, prior to the capital's about-turn, Kentridge told Italian daily newspaper La Repubblica that he was "disappointed but not surpised" about the "absurd" decision to hide his 550m-long frieze.

The South African artist also said he was "deeply touched" that leading figures from the Italian art world and Roman residents had signed a petition to save his mural from obscurity, saying: "I thank them from the bottom of my heart."

This is the latest in a series of local bureaucratic obstacles that frequently hampered the project's realisation, causing embarrassment to the Italian culture ministry.

Entitled Triumphs and Laments, the frieze was created by power-washing through the patina of fungi and pollution on the embankment walls to form silhoutte figures representing three millennia of Roman history.

For further insights into Kentridge’s project see feature article.

Photo La Repubblica