Italian sketch artist: 'I never imagined to be connected with China in such a way'

Editor's note: Two months after the national lockdown, Italy reopened on May 4. With COVID-19 death toll at 25,000, the country was once facing its "darkest hour." Amid the COVID-19 outbreak, an artwork depicting Chinese and Italian medics working together went viral on social media. The creator was an 18-year-old girl, Aurora, from Naples, southern Italy. In an interview with CGTN, Aurora said that she dedicated this picture to all the Chinese medic who is helping Italy and all the heroes who are at the front lines fighting the coronavirus.

CGTN: Can you tell us why you decided to draw such a picture?

Aurora:I started working on this painting a few days after the lockdown began. It was a very difficult time for all of us. Then the government declared that there were not only red zones, but entire Italy was affected. Italy became the most dangerous place outside China. There were a lot of people fighting on the front lines – doctors and nurses.

Then I learned that people from China were coming to help us. I felt the need to express my gratitude to them, but I didn't know how. I was once thinking of sending some pizzas and croissants to a hospital. But then I thought it was not enough.

I realized that the answer lied in my craft. I can draw something. The language of art is more universal. I hoped people could realize what medics from Italy and China were doing was very important. They are the real heroes.

I have received a lot of comments from people coming from Italy, China and other part of the world. A lot of people were writing to me and telling me that they really appreciated what I have done. But I have done nothing, I was just expressing my gratitude. Some people told me that the picture is now a symbol of the friendship between China and Italy. I have never imagined to be connected with China in this way. I'm so happy about that.

CGTN: Some people now are calling the coronavirus the "China virus," what's your take on this?

Aurora: After Italy became Europe's COVID-19 hotspot, a lot of people attacked Italy – treating the Italian people as the virus. I felt bad because similar incidents happened with the Chinese people.

At this moment, I think it is futile to attack others. It's a pity that there's a novel coronavirus outbreak. What we need to do is to fight the virus together. Turning on each other will only worsen the situation.

Interviewer: Wang Naiqian

Video editing: Feng Ran

Graphic design: Qu Bo

Senior producer: Wei Wei

Managing director: Mei Yan

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