The General Director of CAAB, Alessandro Bonfiglioli, has called upon Bolognese business owners and entrepreneurs to adopt a street or piazza so that it can be cleaned and maintained properly.
The association of businesses located in Strada Maggiore have returned to this theme after Bonfiglioli launched the challenge back into the spotlight. Ascom have been in this fight for 10 years and constantly looking for ways to try and combat this citywide phenomenon. This latest call out is because “it (the graffiti) occupies every street, corner, piazza, portico and angle of the city.”
Director of Ascom, Tonelli, responded to the challenge saying, “so we have decided to clean-up Via Guerrazi.” The operation will involve eliminating graffiti from the walls columns, and shop shutters. “Before the end of the year we hope to begin the first general clean then we will organise something on a longer-term basis.”
Caab have already entrusted this type of work to Roberto Marchesini, who for months has been busily scrubbing and repainting the whole of Piazza Aldrovandi with his paint and brushes. Likewise, Ascom have called for Marchesini’s experience in this regard to make Via Guerrazzi respectable once again. “He will work in the evening and at night when the shop shutters are down so as not to create any trouble for the locals,” Tonelli suggests. Marchesini will concentrate on the general stuff and any emergencies such as newly sprayed graffiti.
235,000 euros: co-finance by the commune for private initiatives to clean up walls
500,000 euros: money set aside by the commune to combat graffiti in the centre
100,000 euros: amount Unibo spends to cancel graffiti on their buildings
In the second phase, Ascom plan to collaborate with local residents in order to organise an efficient system to report and clean up in future. “We want their authorisation not only to clean up their walls but also around the doors. Ascom, as the director recalls, “is always for those who want to fight against uncivil behaviour and those who dirty the environment and we want to remind people that it is also their civic duty to keep the city clean. This is a battle everyone must be involved with.”
Bologna has suffered this for far too long. It has been an uphill battle and very frustrating for those who are constantly spending resources to clean up the city. “But we will not give up,” confirms Tonelli, because we are convinced that this is the right thing to do and to rediscover our civic duty. And Via Guerrazzi will only be the first of a series of operations in 2019.”
To counteract the graffiti artists, however, Ascom is hoping that others will follow through with more effective measures to combat them. “Who spends time, energy and money in these initiatives would also like to see those individuals prosecuted effectively and more often according to the law.” Tonelli recalls the current system in operation around Piazza Aldrovandi, “there’s a virtuous circle whereby citizens and businesses note fresh signs of graffiti and it’s dealt with quickly.”