Hundreds of trees in the Dumbrava Forest of Gorj County, a mountainous region in Southwest Romania, have been painted all the colors of the rainbow to protest the illegal logging activity that’s run rampant in the area for years. According to local news outlet Mediafax, a team of activists and volunteers, led by Romanian visual artist Mihai Topescu, spent the days between June 30th and July 3rd covering over 600 trees in eco-friendly paint for what they are calling Art Land “Gradina Paradisului” (“The Garden of Paradise”).
According to Romania Insider, Topescu hopes to create a space that encourages meditation, reflection, and self discovery. The artist described the piece as “some kind of manifesto against everything that happens with deforestation, an artistic manifesto.”
The scale of deforestation in the country recently emerged in a report published by Greenpeace Romania, which cites a total of 9,444 registered cases of illegal logging in 2016—nearly 26 cases per day, on average. These cases alone imposed a total of 22,260 fines, adding up to a total of 33 million lei ($8,000,000 USD). The report also indicates that police confiscated 1,146 vehicles used to carry timber sourced from illegal land.