Florence, Clet acquitted: his Common Man is free

Clet Abraham, a well-known French street artist, was acquitted for his Common Man placed on the Ponte alle Grazie in Florence.

Clet Abraham (Brittany, 1966), a well-known French street artist who lives and works in Florence, has been acquitted for his Common Man: he will not have to pay the 10,000 euro fine for placing his work in the Tuscan capital.

In 2014, Clet had placedCommon Man, a metal and fiberglass silhouette stepping toward the void, on the Ponte alle Grazie, but after about a month it had been removed by police officers because it was unauthorized and the artist was fined. After some time, Clet had relocated the silhouette to the same spot where he had originally placed it, and, in 2016, the vigilantes removed it once again after vandals tried in vain to drop it into the Arno.

It was in May 2017 that he was sentenced to pay a fine of 10,400 euros on charges of placing a work without permission in a valuable area and thus making an illegal invasion of public space.
“People like that statue and I’m not going to stop,” Clet had said after the conviction by the Court of Florence.

A few days ago, the artist wrote on his Facebook profile, "Next Thursday, March 5, there will be an appeal in the criminal trial against the sculpture theCommon Man for which I was sentenced in the first instance to more than 10,000 euros in fines. But Article 33 of the Italian Constitution says, “ART AND SCIENCE ARE FREE AND FREE IS THE TEACHING OF THEM.” If it is explicitly stated that art is free, will it then be implied that the rest of society is not free? Would it mean that as an artist I enjoy a “privilege”? Assuming that freedom is a privilege in this case, because being the only free one in a caged world is not necessarily a comfortable position. At the very least, this “privilege” also becomes a duty, that of preserving and promoting the concept of freedom, a bit like saving an endangered species[...] TheCommon Man, objectively, neither harms nor endangers anyone, he simply knows that, in an increasingly complex society, one solution would be to build on everyone’s sense of responsibility as well."

In a subsequent post, Clet announced, "I have been acquitted! TheCommon Man is free! I wanted to sincerely thank everyone who has always supported me."

Pictured is Clet’sCommon Man. Ph.Credit Clet

Florence, Clet acquitted: his Common Man is free
Florence, Clet acquitted: his Common Man is free

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