Rio's Olympic renewal sees street art arrive

4th Feb 2013

A striking piece of public art is adding some vibrant colour to an underprivileged district of Rio de Janeiro as part of a neighbourhood regeneration linked to the city's hosting of the Olympic Games.

The renewal project for the deprived port area is taking place ahead of the 2016 Olympics.

Brazilian graffiti artist Toz has created the new artwork along with a group of friends, who are filling the 98-foot tall mural with caricatures and great splashes of colour.

The sheer scale of the piece is reflected in the fact that Toz and eight other artists have already got through 1,500 cans of spray paint in creating the mural.

"Graffiti was born in those areas - the more distant and neglected areas - and today here we are, painting the side of a building, so I think not just here, but in any place which is destroyed and neglected is a perfect place for graffiti artists," Toz said.

Travellers calling into Rio as part of tailor made holidays in Brazil in the run-up to the 2016 Olympics will witness several improvements in the port region, including new transport and housing schemes designed to make the city ready for its influx of thousands of visitors for the huge sporting event.

The new artwort is the biggest of its kind in Rio and was commissioned by Lojas Americanas and B2W, the two businesses which own the building on which the mural is being painted.

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