Russia: Italian Street Artist Jorit and Putin Embrace at International Youth Festival

Italian artist Jorit (Ciro Cirullo) to Putin: “I am in Russia to demonstrate that you are a human being and to counter Western propaganda”

Jorit e Putin

Russia and Italy are united by their love of art and “the desire for freedom.” This was stated by Russian President Vladimir Putin during a meeting in Sochi, a seaside city on the Black Sea and the capital of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia, with one of Italy’s most famous street artists, Ciro Cirullo, widely known as Jorit. The meeting took place at the International Youth Festival held in Sochi from March 1 to 7, which is attended by more than 20 thousand people coming from 180 countries and territories of the world. “I want to show Italy,” the artist replied, as he took the stage for a photo with Putin, “that you are a human being like everyone else and how to stand up to Western propaganda.”

The actress Ornella Muti from Italy, a favorite of Russians, together with her daughter Naike Rivelli, also participates in the Youth Festival, which is held annually in Russia. On this occasion, the street artist unveiled a mural featuring Muti herself on a building in Sochi’s Olympic Village. Cirullo later attended an event at which Putin himself spoke. At the end of the Russian president’s speech, he asked to be photographed with him in order to challenge some “common perceptions” in Italy about the Russian leader. Putin’s response was an ironic joke about fear of getting pinched as proof that “he’s human,” followed by a photo.

Il murale di Ornella Muti realizzato da Jorit a Sochi in Russia