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The Mexican ambassador in Italy visits Orgosolo's murales of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera

30 May 2024

Yesterday's Mexican ambassador's visit to Orgosolo in Sardinia was in the name of the common art of murals.

The visit was under the banner of emotion. The journey of an intense day in the country of the murales in the name of art, culture and an economy (particularly oenology) full of suggestions and points in common and the right premises for future collaboration.

Ambassador Carlos Garcia de Alba Zepeda chose the Barbagia village for his two-day visit to Sardinia, which began in Cagliari with some institutional meetings and a visit to the cemetery at the tomb of the recently deceased Gigi Riva.

Garcia de Alba arrived in Orgosolo accompanied by Mexico's honorary consul Renato Chiesa and the consulate's cultural referent Simona Pinna. The diplomat was welcomed in the municipality by the mayor Pasquale Mereu wearing the tricolour sash and by other administrators.

The artist Francesco Del Casino, the father of muralism in Orgosolo, was in attendance from his home in Siena.

One of the reasons that brought Ambassador Garcia de Alba to Orgosolo is the presence of two murals with a clear Mexican matrix, created by Del Casino in the mid-1990s after his trip to the Latin American country. One depicts the artist Frida Kahlo and the other  Diego Rivera, one of the main exponents of Mexican muralism.

The first mural in Orgosolo was created in 1969 by the Dioniso group, a collective of anarchists from Milan. A few years later, in 1975, on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Liberation from Nazi-Fascism, the Tuscan teacher Francesco Del Casino and his pupils from the Orgosolo secondary school produced a dozen murals along Corso Repubblica. Later, murals of various contents were also produced by groups outside the school: the theme to be dealt with and the execution of the work was agreed upon with the population, who were favourably impressed by the initiative. Later, the contribution of many other artists was added, including the Orgolese painter Pasquale Buesca and the local cultural group Le Api. The paintings generally deal with issues related to the local population and Sardinia, but also recount major Italian and international historical and social events. There are also numerous tributes to 20th century personalities and intellectuals. There are currently more than 200 murals in Orgosolo that are now an integral part of the town's image, attracting thousands of tourists from all over the world every year.