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Pain to tiled art: Argentines honor soccer star Maradona with mosaics

Reuters logo Reuters 26/2/2021 By Miguel Lo Bianco
a person holding a piece of cake on a table: Maradona's fans remember the idol with a colorful memorial in Buenos Aires © Reuters/AGUSTIN MARCARIAN Maradona's fans remember the idol with a colorful memorial in Buenos Aires

By Miguel Lo Bianco

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Gonzalo López Lauch is helping bring soccer star Diego Maradona back to life, one mosaic tile at a time.

The visual artist, part of a group called Comando Maradona, unveiled on Thursday a colorful mural of the Argentine player and legend who died on Nov. 25 last year, sparking an outpouring of grief from Buenos Aires to Naples, Italy.

a group of people sitting at a table eating food: Maradona's fans remember the idol with a colorful memorial in Buenos Aires © Reuters/AGUSTIN MARCARIAN Maradona's fans remember the idol with a colorful memorial in Buenos Aires

The work, in front of the Argentinos Juniors stadium where Maradona played the early years of his career, is part of a series of mosaics the group has produced for the last three months, to honor the day of his death.

a man looking at the camera: Maradona's fans remember the idol with a colorful memorial in Buenos Aires © Reuters/AGUSTIN MARCARIAN Maradona's fans remember the idol with a colorful memorial in Buenos Aires

"We are transforming our pain into a mural in a public space," López Lauch, who makes up the group with Paula Soto and Gabriela Pereyra, told Reuters.

The mosaics, made up of small tiles to ensure they are durable and easy to fix in case of vandalism, show Maradona in a jersey of one of the teams he played for, looking at the horizon.

a group of people walking down the street: Maradona's fans remember the idol with a colorful memorial in Buenos Aires © Reuters/AGUSTIN MARCARIAN Maradona's fans remember the idol with a colorful memorial in Buenos Aires

Residents from the community are invited to add the final pieces to the mosaics, a reflection of how Maradona was a national hero despite well-documented issues of addiction.

a person holding a sign: Maradona's fans remember the idol with a colorful memorial in Buenos Aires © Reuters/AGUSTIN MARCARIAN Maradona's fans remember the idol with a colorful memorial in Buenos Aires

"Maradona is a sample of Argentina, an imprint of our nation, part of our DNA, part of our blood," López Lauch said.

Maradona, a world champion with the Argentine team at the 1986 World Cup, died in November after battling illness and drug and alcohol addiction. He was honored with a period of lying in state with thousands of people coming to pay their last respects.

(Reporting by Miguel Lo Bianchi; Writing by Agustin Geist and Nicolas Misculin; Editing by Adam Jourdan and Karishma Singh)

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