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Florence's Duomo encourages digital graffiti as deterrent

Associated Press logo Associated Press 2/23/2017

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Florence's famed Duomo is cleaning up its act, removing centuries of graffiti from the cathedral dome interior and letting new visitors leave their mark digitally instead.

The cathedral launched a pilot project last year in its Giotto-designed bell tower to allow visitors to use a touchscreen to leave a digital message rather than deface the 14th-century structure.

To date some 18,000 digital messages have been left, and the project was such a success that the cathedral administration said Thursday it was extending the project to Brunelleschi's dome that dominates the Tuscan city.

The sales pitch? Digital graffiti will be kept forever, while real graffiti will be removed.

Visitors who hoof the 463 stairs to the dome can use a touchscreen onsite or download an app to leave a message.

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