Portuguese Street Artist Protests Pope’s Visit

Portuguese street artist Bordalo II has taken a stand against the expenses. It was incurred by the state for Pope Francis’ visit to Lisbon from August 2 to August 6. In a creative protest, the artist rolled out a large carpet adorned with oversized 500-euro banknotes at the event venue. Bordalo II, known for his political art made from recycled materials. He criticized the allocation of public funds for the papal tour while many citizens struggle with economic hardships. The estimated cost of the event, shared by the government, the Catholic Church, Lisbon city council, and nearby Loures. It has drawn criticism from public figures and politicians due to inflation. The financial challenges faced by millions of Portuguese citizens.

The ‘Walk of Shame’ Protest:

Bordalo II’s protest took the form of a huge carpet featuring 500-euro banknotes. It is symbolizing the excessive spending on Pope Francis’ visit. The artist shared pictures and videos of the carpet being roll out down the venue’s stairs. They calling it a “walk of shame” for the state’s expenditure.

Controversial Expense Estimates:

The World Youth Day global gathering of young Catholics. It attend by Pope Francis, is estimated to cost 161 million euros, with contributions from various entities. The Portuguese government’s share of 30 million euros has drawn heavy criticism, especially as citizens grapple with rising inflation and economic hardships.

Public Figures and Politicians Speak Out:

Many public figures and politicians have voiced their concerns about the excessive spending on the papal visit. Earlier, the Lisbon city council faced criticism and was compel to reduce plan spending on an altar for Pope Francis’ mass celebration from 5.5 million euros to 3.2 million euros.

The Artist’s Message:

Bordalo II, whose real name is Artur Bordalo, used his art to speak out against the lavish spending on the papal tour while ordinary people struggle to keep their homes, jobs, and dignity. Through his protest, he aimed to highlight the stark contrast between extravagant expenses and the economic hardships faced by millions of Portuguese citizens.

Response from Authorities:

Lisbon Mayor Carlos Moedas acknowledged Bordalo II’s protest, stating that such demonstrations were normal for events like these. The artist’s creative expression through art allowed him to raise his concerns and voice dissent against the allocation of public funds for the papal visit.


Bordalo II’s ‘banknote’ carpet protest serves as a powerful statement against the state’s extravagant spending on Pope Francis’ visit amid economic difficulties faced by many Portuguese citizens. By utilizing his artistic talent, the street artist aims to draw attention to the allocation of public funds and raise awareness about the economic challenges that citizens are currently confronting.