Milan volunteers clean the city

Pau street art cancelled by mistake.

Inspired by the 20,000 citizens who turned out spontaneously to clean up the city after the disturbances marking the No Expo demonstrations on 1 May, Milan city hall organised another street cleaning day on Saturday 16 May.

Some 40 volunteer groups throughout the city, numbering over 1,300 volunteers, turned up to clean over 200 streets, squares and gardens. The city administration’s official support was guaranteed by AMSA, A2A, MM and ATM, providing equipment and transport. Two local companies also lent their support: Brico do-it-yourself suppliers and CLO transport.

Over-enthusiastic cleaners unfortunately cancelled a mural created with the muncipality’s blessing by street-artist Pau, with the help of local residents, in Via Cesariano. Pau – pseudonym of Paolo Bardino – told reporters he was “moved” by the local residents’ doomed efforts to persuade the volunteers to let his work stand. He said that city hall had apologised to him and invited him to brighten up another location.

Thousands of volunteers clean the city.
Thousands of volunteers clean the city.

A series of initiatives followed on Sunday under the banner “Bella Milano” to enjoy the freshly cleaned city. Among them, the Urban Forestry Centre welcomed families to meet the gardeners and learn techniques for balcony gardens and vegetable plots, with musical breaks and educational games, while FAI environmental foundation guided free visits to the gardens around Expo 2015.