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July 22, 2014 By Andy Ross

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The ancient art of modern graffiti

We love graffiti. Those tags that people leave as modern day calling cards nowadays are better known as "street art" and have become a part of revitalising neighbourhoods across the world.

But graffiti is not new. Ancient Pompeii, buried under its river of ash, has inscriptions incised on its walls. Apparently the Romans rather liked graffiti and it was the done thing to carve into frescoes and stucco in both public and private spaces. In medieval England churches were regular recipients of pictures scratched onto walls and pillars. Today some graffiti is considered a nuisance (although we take numerous pictures of graffiti wherever we go), but street art is a recognised way to bring creative people together and bring neighbourhoods back to life.

In South Africa a suburb of the small town of Darling underwent a makeover with street artists creating murals and pictures on houses. The pictures act as a sort of living gallery, bringing visitors to the town whatever the season. Cape Town itself has amazing graffiti - check out this selection - and of course London too.

In Miami a company is hard at work creating a neighbourhood gallery in Wynwood. This report from the BBC shows what is going on and the success of the idea. "The Center for the Creative Class." Don't you just love it?!

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