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VICE News

This street artist replaces swastika graffiti in Italy with paintings of pasta and cheese

For the past 10 years, “CIBO” has protested the rise of the far right by painting images of Italian food and produce over the abundance of neo-fascist graffiti around his hometown of Verona.

by Stacey Sommer
Oct 3 2018, 9:05pm

This year, Italy has seen a resurgence in neo-fascism and far-right ideology. But one street artist is fighting back — with giant paintings of pumpkin tortellini and parmesan cheese.

For the past 10 years, Pier Paolo Spinazzè, known as “CIBO,” has protested the rise of the far right by painting images of Italian food over neo-fascist graffiti around his hometown of Verona. In June, however, the situation appeared to escalate: Italy turned away two boats of refugees, and the interior minister called to register Roma people, despite the obvious parallels to Nazi Germany.

“There's swastikas, Celtics, and racial slurs like ‘Burn negroes," Spinazzè told VICE News. "I reached a tipping point and decided to eliminate them all."

The demonstration has resulted in vibrant pictures of Italian cuisine popping up on the sides of buildings and alongside highways.

Despite receiving daily threats for his work from the far right, CIBO plans to carry on and hopes that other artists will join him in the fight.

“I hope I was an example to other artists, and that they to can find solutions in their city to make society more colorful and more human.”

This segment originally aired September 26, 2018 on VICE News Tonight on HBO.