The village in Calabria where Street Art meets Urban Regeneration

By Francesca Politi - JUMP Team

Located in the center of the Riviera dei Cedri, the city of Diamante is dotted with beaches and cliffs that reflect in the crystal clear waters of the sea. According to a myth, a raven, dazzled by the brilliance of a diamond, grabbed it and laid it on a beach, giving rise to this small town. Being known as “the city of murals”, its beauty lies also in the Street Art that over time adorned its avenues. 

Walking through this seaside village, many painterly expressions can be admired. The first dates back to 1981, when Nani Razetti proposed a project called Operation Murals and 83 Italian and foreign painters joined forces to breathe new life into Diamante’s historic center. The idea took life extending also to other districts and each year artists added more and more murals

Starting from 2017, Diamante promoted the international event OSA – Operazione Street Art Festival. Paying homage to the visionary idea of the painter founder of the initiative, numerous international artists expressed themselves, spray cans in hand, on issues such as the defense of human rights, gender equality, migration and environmental protection. Entire building facades were painted and mural art became an opportunity for urban regeneration.

This summer, in order to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the first Operation Murals, starting from August 8th, four new urban interventions closed the circle. A historical and artistic process that made the city of Diamante one of the most painted villages in Italy with over 330 murals in the historic center and a true open-air museum.

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