By Carol Glatz
VATICAN CITY — Like a comic book showdown, Rome’s “decorum squad” took down the city’s latest hero when they scraped off and painted over the “Super Pope” street art very early this morning.
“Before” and “After” shots of a wall near the Vatican showing the quick removal by city workers of the “Super Pope” street art. (CNS photos/Robert Duncan and Carol Glatz)
It marked a new city record given the piece went up Monday night and most illegal urban “decorations” are ignored for years. Notice the illegal cafe’ sign that quickly filled the void…
The artist, Mauro Pallotta, said he saw the censure coming. He told the Italian newspaper La Stampa that “city decorum” officials had been circling “dangerously close” to his piece on Wednesday.
“But the people’s reaction stopped them. There was a small revolution. They left, but they’ll be back,” he said. And right he was.
Pallotta said he draws and paints his “ecological” and removable street art onto paper that he then glues with a water-based adhesive to walls around his historic neighborhood of “the Borgo” — a series of small streets and low buildings near the Vatican.
While city painters scraped off his papered depiction of “Super Pope” and rolled on a fresh coat of paint, they didn’t bother with the street tagging on the rest of the wall or the graffiti plastered throughout the area.
One of countless patches of graffiti which miraculously survived an early morning blitz by city workers who removed the “Super Pope” pop art. The stenciled slogan (by the same artist) near a restaurant says: “Full tummies don’t think about empty stomachs.” (CNS photo/Carol Glatz)
Pallotta said he got the idea to draw the pope as superman when he was leafing through a superhero comic book while watching TV. A news story came on about Pope Francis and “It blew my mind like a short circuit: ‘Hey, the pope IS a superhero!’”
“The superpowers which I gave him represent the enormous power at his disposal, which he uses — the only world leader — to do good. He’s the only one who does what he says.”
Pope Francis passes news photographers as he arrives for his general audience in St. Peter’s Square Jan. 15. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
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