January 23, 2009 / 4:35 PM / 10 years ago

Out of cash? Pick up free art on streets of Dublin

DUBLIN (Reuters Life!) - The financial crisis has hit Ireland especially hard, so Dubliners will appreciate getting a little surprise for nothing. The “Free Art Friday” movement has reached the Irish capital.

The group, with “no known creators or hierarchy,” asks established artists and amateurs to leave pieces of art at random places — on benches, cash machines or telephone booths — for the next passer-by to pick up and take home if they wish.

It is absolutely free but there is a note with an e-mail address at the back if they want to thank their donor.

“Free Art Friday is a terrific idea,” said artist Sean Hillen, whose photo montage prints were among the hundreds of items scattered around the city throughout Friday.

“I’m a strong believer that art is really for everybody,” Hillen told state television. “Ireland has only really come in in the last generation to the idea that people could have and should have original art in their homes.”

Reporting by Andras Gergely, editing by Paul Casciato

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