A hotel made largely from garbage has been built in the centre of Rome to raise awareness about beach pollution in Europe.
The Save the Beach hotel is being promoted by the former top model turned green campaigner Helena Christensen, who has spent a night in one of the three rooms.
She has described the construction as a strikingly colourful work of art. Closer inspection reveals that it is in fact made up of items such as old toys, cans, car exhaust pipes, socks and footballs – in all 12 tonnes of debris picked up from the continent’s beaches.
“I decided to stay in the hotel that has been built entirely by garbage because that in itself I think, is an amazing testament to how much garbage is actually collected around the beaches and that you can build an entire hotel with rooms,” said the model.
The hotel is the work of German artist HA Schult, seeking to highlight what he calls a global problem. He has already created an army made out of rubbish and displayed around the world, from New York to China’s Great Wall.
“We produce garbage and we will be garbage. So, this garbage people and this garbage hotel is the next step for us all when we do not (do) better,” he said. “We have to change the world before the world changes us”.
The hotel on the banks of the river Tiber has been built to mark World Environment Day. Would-be guests will have to hurry to book a room; it is only open until Monday.