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Giant pink snails dot Milan

MILAN, Italy, Nov. 21 (UPI) -- Milan, the Italian city of high fashion and fine art, is now also the home of a dozen giant, pink, plastic snails.

What's the meaning of the 6 1/2-foot-tall, 10-foot long mollusks? They're an artsy message to the people of Milan: Slow down, you move to fast, the Italian news agency ANSA reported Friday.

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"Speed isn't always a virtue," said Finazzer Flory, Milan's culture councilor who who pushed for the exhibit created by the Italian Cracking Art group.

"We need to play with the city to break with our obvious daily urban routine and rediscover the experience of moving about the city.

"These snails are in the streets not only as an invitation (for people to) slow down, but also to listen, since their shape is reminiscent of an ear."

The big pink snails have been placed around Piazza Scala outside Milan's opera house and nearby in front of the Church of San Fedele. They will be moved periodically -- and slowly -- to the front of Milan's Palazzo Reale and then to the central train station in January, ANSA said.

From there, plans are for them to go international, with visits to Amman, Jordan, Tel Aviv, Israel, and Chicago. Then they are to return as part of a 120-snail army for an expo the city will host in 2015.

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