Rome, Italy: The Eternal City of Rome is littered with culture and historical ruins that attract millions of visitors every single year. Some of the artifacts that these tourists have traveled many miles to see are in fact trash, that has been preserved from the 7th century or earlier. However thanks to one “prankster” that ancient trash may actually be present day garbage.
Leonid Tsvetkov will grab unwanted materials, bottles, packages and even egg cartons from Roman dumpsters and put them in concrete casts. Then he will strategically place them in or near Roman monuments. So far, no one has seemed to notice, but Tsvetkov’s motivation is not to prove tourists are naive.
The spark for the trash plan happened while Tsvetkov attended the American Academy in Rome, studying the history of material culture, comparing consumption of the past with the present day.
“I was always fascinated with these shards from the past, which are essentially trash, laying around everywhere in Rome,” stated Tsvetkov “People’s obsession with ruins in romantic, as well as political, terms always intrigued me, too.”
Although many people may be upset with his actions, Tsvetkov wants to stress the trash he puts in the ruins is just as beautiful as ancient garbage. A great deal of what makes these artifacts valuable is perspective and people should realize that even humans can be considered an artifact of history.
Since starting the project many months ago, Tsvetkov has made his best efforts to not influence the direction. He wants the “new” trash to stay under the radar and is always on the hunt for the perfect spot.
“I circle different sites quite a bit until I choose the one that works,” he says. “Most of all I want the object to ‘fit’ or belong to the environment so that someone will think more than twice about removing the object” says Tsvetkov.
After he feels enough garbage has been placed around Roma, Tsvetkov will take a brief break and then return to the “scenes of the crime.” Hopefully his trash will have blended into the landscape by then.
This plan is very creative on many levels, however there is something rather wrong with it. From an environmental standpoint, what Tsvetkov is doing is illegal. Leaving trash of any kind on ancient ruins is highly illegal in the City of Rome. And in some ways, he is deceiving the people who are truly interested in seeing actual artifacts.
Regardless, trash is the focus and Budget Dumpster is definitely happy about that. Budget Dumpster is is able to help effectively remove concrete and if Rome ever needs waste removal services, we are here to help! Next time your on an Italian vacation, try to spot the trash!