Rome sculpture proves hard to stomach even for porchetta fans.
A public sculpture intended as a homage to porchetta, the roast pork Roman speciality, has earned the fury of animal rights activists and the scorn of Rome politicians.
Titled Dal panino si va in piazza, the controversial contemporary artwork in the Trastevere quarter depicts a dead pig, trussed, cooked and apparently ready to eat.
The sculpture by Andrea Longo, 25, is part of the Piazza Romane project by students from the Rome University of Fine Arts, and is to remain in the public eye until the end of September.
"It is a porchetta of almost two tons of travertine marble" - Longo explained to Corriere della città, adding that it speaks of "irony in inviting Romans and tourists to eat a typical dish of Roman cuisine."
However many people do not share this ironic view and there were calls to have the artwork removed within hours of its installation yesterday in Piazza S. Giovanni della Malva.
LAV, one of Italy's foremost animal rights organisations, has labelled it a "monument to the holocaust of animals," describing the sculpture as an "absurd and senseless work, which for us is not art but an insult to the value of animal life and to all Romans."
Daniele Diaco, president of the city's environmental commission, blasted the sculpture as "revolting" and called it "the statue of a corpse in the middle of Trastevere."
Rome mayoral candidate Carlo Calenda took a more sarcastic approach on Twitter: "Seeing as we do not have enough animals of various kinds in Rome the administration has decided to embellish the city with this wonderful marble pig."
However Longo told newspaper La Repubblica that his controversial work has been misunderstood and claims it has been "exploited by politicians."
The outcry has led the president of Rome's central Municipio I, Sabrina Alfonsi, to appeal for dialogue in a public debate between the "various associations, artists, institutions and citizens who want to participate."
Every year in September the small town of Ariccia, in the Castelli Romani area, hosts its Sagra della Porchetta, in honour of the savoury, fatty and moist boneless roast pork that is traditional to the region. Photo Leggo
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Rome dead pig sculpture sparks outcry
Piazza di S. Giovanni della Malva, 00153 Roma RM, Italy