- Title: Serie A criticised for anti-racism artwork featuring apes
- Date: 17th December 2019
- Summary: ROME, ITALY (DECEMBER 17, 2019) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF LEGA SERIE A WEBSITE ARTICLE ABOUT THE ANTI-RACISM ARTWORK AND TITLE READING (English): "SIMONE FUGAZZOTTO'S PAINTING AGAINST RACISM"
- Embargoed: 31st December 2019 11:05
- Keywords: Lega Serie A Serie A anti-racism campaign apes monkey chants racism
- Location: VARIOUS
- City: VARIOUS
- Country: Italy
- Topics: Soccer,Sport
- Reuters ID: LVA002BAD6S07
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Italy's top-flight Serie A soccer league received a backlash on Tuesday (December 17) to a new anti-racism campaign that presented artwork featuring three side-by-side paintings of apes.
The league said the paintings by Italian artist Simone Fugazzotto "aims to spread the values of integration, multiculturalism and brotherhood", but anti-discrimination campaign groups, top soccer clubs and residents of Rome all said using monkeys in the artwork was inappropriate.
AS Roma tweeted that the club did not believe using monkey images was "the right way" to tackle racism in soccer, while AC Milan tweeted that they "strongly disagreed" with the campaign.
Milan-born artist Fugazzotto, described as being "known for his disruptive works", is famous in Italy and almost all his art involves drawings of chimpanzees.
He said he got the idea for the paintings after Napoli's Senegalese defender Kalidou Koulibaly suffered racist insults during a match at Inter Milan last season.
Some Rome residents condemned the paintings.
"The black soccer players that we have here, great people and great players. We win matches because of them and then insult them, it is absurd," said Rome resident Luciano.
Another felt that the anti-racism message didn't clearly come across, but did not see it as something negative.
"If it is explained with a conclusion behind it, it could be positive. But just put out in this manner I don't think anyone would understand it is something anti-racist," said Daniel Malacasa.
Italian football has been plagued by racism with Inter Milan Belgium forward Romelu Lukaku and Brescia's Italian striker Mario Balotelli having been subjected to racist insults from rival fans during matches this season.
(Production: Cristiano Corvino, Gabriele Pileri, Emily Roe)
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