Italian cleaner throws out ‘rubbish’ modern art

A cleaning company in the southern Italian city of Bari has been left with a €10,000 bill after one of its staff threw away artwork – including biscuit crumbs - that was intended for a modern art exhibition.

Italian cleaner throws out 'rubbish' modern art
The cleaner threw out cardboard boxes that were intended for a modern art exhibition. Photo: Dominic's Pics/Flickr

Lorenzo Roca, from the cleaning firm Chiarissima, said the woman was “only doing her job” after throwing away the works, which consisted of cardboard and newspaper as well as biscuit pieces that were scattered across the floor, Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno reported.

He said the cleaner, who he described as “honest and meticulous”, saw “empty containers stacked up” and so alerted recycling staff at the Sala Murat, where the ‘Mediating Landscape’ exhibition is being held.

“This has never happened before, despite many other important exhibitions being held here,” he said.

The company will cover the €10,000 bill with its insurance.

Antonio Maria Vasile, the marketing commissioner at Bari council, apologised for the incident, adding that “it is obvious the cleaner did not realise they were works of art”.

“But this is all about the artists who have been able to better interpret the meaning of contemporary art, which is to interact with the environment,” he added.

The Italian cleaner is not alone in having unwittingly thrown away works of contemporary art.

A Damien Hirst collection of beer bottles, coffee cups and overflowing ashtrays was thrown out of an exhibition in London in 2001, while in 2004 a bag of paper and cardboard by German artist Gustav Metzger was cleared away at the Tate Britain.

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The southern Italian city ranked among Europe’s best summer destinations by Lonely Planet

The world's largest guide book publisher, Lonely Planet, has released its annual list of Europe's top summer destinations, and only one Italian city made the list: the Pugliese capital of Bari.

The southern Italian city ranked among Europe's best summer destinations by Lonely Planet
The atmospheric streets of Bari's old town. Photo: Depositphotos

The southern Italian region of Puglia has long been a favourite summer destination for travellers in the know, but most head straight for the beaches and overlook its capital city, Bari.

But Bari has now become a travel guidebook favourite. popular with those seeking a slice of “authentic” Italy, with fewer crowds, lower prices and a slower pace of life than that found in many better-known Italian cities.

Photo: Depositphotos

Bari was chosen because of its efforts to revitalise its “formerly battered” seafront, as well as for the regional cuisine, including the local orecchiette pasta famously made in the street by grandmothers.

Photo: Depositphotos

The city is also known for its raw seafood – baby octopus is eaten raw, with just a squeeze of lemon – as well as the narrow streets of the old town, and the grand Cathedral of San Nicola.

Beyond the city, the region of Bari encompasses a long stretch of scenic, rocky Adriatic coastline, including the famous seaside towns of Monopoli and Polignano a Mare. 







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Inland, the area's iconic rural landscape is filled with olive groves and dotted with white masserie (fortified farmhouses) and conical trulli houses.

Lonely Planet's list of European travel hotspots was topped by the High Tatras in Slovakia, and also featured Iceland, the Swiss town of Vevey, and the Spanish capital, Madrid.

Last year's ranking highlighted the central Italian region of Emilia-Romagna as a must-visit destination.