Rome says no to Black Lives Matter street mural

Rome and Milan veto 'Black Lives Matter' street murals.

The Sardines, the Italian grassroots political movement, has given up its plan to paint 'Black Lives Matter' on Rome's central Via del Corso after being denied permission by the capital's mayor Virginia Raggi and Italy's culture ministry.

The pro-equality movement had sought authorisation to paint the anti-racist slogan on Rome's main thoroughfare in memory of George Floyd, the African-American man killed by a white policer officer in Minneapolis on 25 May.

The plan by the Sardines was to write 'Black Lives Matter' in giant letters over a 100-m stretch of Via del Corso, towards Piazza del Popolo, reports Italian newspaper La Repubblica.

When authorities ruled out the use of paint, the Sardines proposed using flowers, however this too was ruled out.

Similar attempts by the activists to paint 'Black Lives Matter' on a street in Milan were also vetoed.

The movement's leader Mattia Santori told La Repubblica: "We have the material to do the writing, we have the graphic design, we have the volunteers and the enthusiasm. But we are tired of going around Italy begging for permits and authorisations for what we believe to be a sacrosanct message."

Appealing for an Italian city to host the Black Lives Matter message, Santori said: "Italy is not lacking in asphalt. On the courage front, however, there is room for improvement."

Photo: Allison C Bailey / Shutterstock.com