If Federica Sciarelli, the well-known journalist and anchorwoman of “Chi l’ha visto?”, should put her hands on this story, maybe she would enrich the television program schedule for several months. We must use the gloves of irony to tell the misadventure of street artist Pao and the theft of his penguins.
Let’s take a step back: Paolo Bordino, known as Pao, is an artist who since the beginning has figured out how to interact with urban elements like electric cabins, walls and, above all, concrete bollards, most commonly known especially in the Milan streets, as “panettoni”. With spray cans and genuinely ingenuous and creativity, Pao realizes animals, often penguins, and imaginative, cheerful and dynamic characters.
The last to see his penguins around Italy were the inhabitants of Dolo, a small town in Veneto, who hosted, for a few days, the “I DoLove” festival, during the end of May, calling some street artists, including Pao. The Milanese boy, besides creating a splendid murales, accompanied his performance leaving six “panettoni”, five classic penguins and a ladybug on the sidewalk in via Vittorio Veneto.
After just one month, the animals disappeared into nothingness. It would be said to be “volatilized”, just to remain in the “laughter-area” (even if it’s not funny at all). Are they stolen by a serial kleptomaniac? Are they taken from an art-predator who would like to have everything for himself to enjoy comfortably in the living room? A vandalistic act? Agatha Christie, please let us know from the afterlife to suggest which path we have to follow!
The municipal administration, with a post on Facebook, gave the alarm, immediately relaunched by the same artist. Then, Dolo Culture assessor, Matteo Bellomo, bitterly commented: «They would have gone because they were disappointed with the hospitality they received. We can’t say that they have had an easy life here. The “panettoni” were on the sidewalk where the bus stop was located, so children and young guys could enjoy the works, but that spot is not far from a monument dedicated to the fallen people of the First World War and someone protested, claiming it was a lack of respect».
Someone has pointed his finger at a extreme right wing organization, but beyond suppositions and conjectures, it remains an execrable and even discomforting gesture that goes against the sense of freedom, just born from the street, which Pao wants to convey with his penguins. We can organize festivals, open days for families, children, we can bring colors and smiles in town, but civic sense is a seed that must be protected and cultivated against “small-minded” weather. And it’s a long and complex job.
For Pao is not even the first misadventure: in 2015, in Milan, for a “misunderstanding” some volunteers deleted a mural of the artist made in 2001 in the playground of via Cesariano near parco Sempione. A misunderstanding between the authorizations of the Municipality and the desire to eliminate obscene and phallic writing that has resulted in a nonsense and monochromatic hyper-cleaning, with displeasure of residents. However, Pao was invited to make a new work in the same space.