Artist Graziano Cecchini’s Balls Busted

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Filed under: Art Pranks, Political Pranks

Rap for Spanish Steps Balls Man
April 27, 2009

‘Futur- rista’ gets 8 mths for multi- coloured cascade

ballsspanishstepsRome, April 27 – A man who made world headlines by sending about half a million coloured balls thundering down Rome’s Spanish Steps last year received an eight-month jail term Monday.

Self-styled ‘Futur-rista’ Graziano Cecchini, 54, criticised the penalty imposed for causing disruption to bus services in January 2008 – even though the term was automatically suspended.

”What sort of interruption of service could there possibly have been? The Piazza di Spagna is a pedestrian area. There wasn’t any crime, only a pop-art event”.

Cecchini’s prank was a protest against the ”balle” (balls, or lies) allegedly fed to a gullible public by politicians of all stripes. Cecchini first won notoriety three months before the Spanish Steps jape when he turned the waters of the Trevi Fountain red.

The waters of Rome’s most famous fountain turned blood red when Cecchini on October 18 threw his dye into the basin in an act apparently inspired by the Futurists of the early 20th century.

Cecchini, a former right-wing extremist, carried out his stunt during the Rome Film Festival, delighting tourists and enraging officials.

”There’s the red carpet, Valentino red and now red Trevi too,” he said, adding that he was trying to raise awareness of the plight of Italy’s casual workers.

The dye assault was claimed by ‘FTM Futurist Action 2007’, a previously unknown group which said it aimed to turn this ”grey bourgeois society into a triumph of colour”.

Cecchini won several plaudits after his Trevi feat and appeared on a number of TV shows.

One of his admirers was Milan’s then culture chief, prominent art critic Vittorio Sgarbi.

Sgarbi also liked the Spanish Steps balls, saying ”anarchy is a typical feature of contemporary art”.

Cecchini has yet to be charged for the Trevi incident, for which he could face a heavier penalty.

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