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Rome has given birth to an ambitious "vanishing" artwork with William Kentridge's completion of a giant frieze of the city's "heroic and shameful" history that he has stenciled out of the dirt caking an embankment of the Tiber. The South African artist's idiosyncratic take on the Eternal City's defining moments is a 10-meter-tall mural that now lines a 550-meter stretch of the river. The artist said he does not expect his "Triumphs and Laments" to last more than five years before the blackening impact of pollution makes these epic images impossible to see. Kentridge's work juxtaposes the glories of the renaissance – most spectacularly represented in Rome by the construction of St. Peter's Basilica – with the contemporaneous confinement of Jews to the city's ghetto.The mural contains sections inspired by prehistoric times and by mythology alongside figures from recent history, including the film director Pier Paolo Passolini and actors Marcello Mastroianni and Anita Ekberg, stars of "La Dolce Vita," Fellini's 1960 love letter to Rome.
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