Serie A has received condemnation after it used three paintings of monkeys to illustrate a campaign to stamp out racism.
According to Guardian, the three works were created by Simone Fugazzotto and will be on permanent display at the league’s headquarters in Milan. The league said the images are intended to “spread the values of integration, multiculturalism and brotherhood”. The 'No To Racism' posters show three monkeys with painted faces. The monkey artwork will be displayed at Serie A headquarters in Milan.
An anti-discrimination group Fare tweeted saying, "“Once again Italian football leaves the world speechless. In a country in which the authorities fail to deal with racism week after week, #SerieA have launched a campaign that looks like a sick joke.”
This season, Italian football has been marred by monkey chants and other incidents of racist abuse. Even Chelsea player Anita Asante hit out at Serie A. He tweeted, "@SerieA_EN You guys need to have a good look at yourselves. What is wrong with you? How many [people] looked at this commissioned artwork and signed off on this?”
“Fantastic to see Serie A anti-racism campaign posters (yes, it’s really real). Maybe get the mascots to black up as a finishing touch,” tweeted the former England forward Stan Collymore.
Serie A chief executive, Luigi de Siervo, during announcing the new project, told the Guardian that “Football is an extraordinary tool for conveying positive messages, fair play and tolerance. Simone’s paintings fully reflect these values and will remain on show in our headquarters.”
At a news conference on Monday, artist Simone Fugazzotto, who always uses monkeys in his work, said: "For an artist there is nothing more important than trying to change the perception of things through his own work. I decided to portray monkeys to talk about racism because they are the metaphor for human beings. Last year I was at the stadium to see Inter v Napoli [a match in which Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly was racially abused] and I felt humiliated, everyone was shouting 'monkey' at Koulibaly, a player I respect."