Evicted artist Cesare Esposito sleeping on Rome streets

Works hang in National Modern Art Gallery, but can't afford home

Evicted artist Cesare Esposito sleeping on Rome streets

Rome, January 10 - Artist Cesare Esposito, 65, whose sculptures are in the permanent collection of Italy's National Modern Art Gallery and who designed a steel monument to the Italian Resistance in Rome's Garbatella neighborhood, now sleeps on the streets after being evicted from his Rome home, the artist said Thursday. "As of last night, I sleep on the Via dei Fori Imperiali like a bum," said Esposito, who was born in the central Monti neighborhood like his mother before him. Among many of his public installations was a projection of Roberto Rossellini's 1945 war drama Rome, Open City onto the Trevi Fountain as a 93rd birthday gift to the late former Italian president Sandro Pertini, who was himself a member of the Italian Resistance in World War II. In 1972, Esposito was assigned a rent-controlled apartment for artists where he has lived and worked since. The city put the building on the block in 2006, giving tenants first option to buy their apartments at a discount. The artist did not have the down payment, and a loan fell through. "Lawyers showed up at my house with cops last night. They said I have a month to get out, and they changed the locks," said the artist, calling on President Giorgio Napolitano and on Rome Mayor Gianni Alemanno to help him. "I've done a lot for Rome without ever asking for anything in return, because I'm in love with my city. But now I've been left alone," said Esposito. "I'm willing to sell all my work in exchange for my house". Esposito also called on the son of the late renowned Italian artist Renato Guttuso to lend him a helping hand. "Renato lived across the street from me, I used to draw his window and he drew mine," said Esposito. "Help me".

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