Police in Venice have charged a poet and confiscated his writings for selling them on the streets. Antonio Melis faces a fine of up to 60 euros for setting up a folding table and asking for money in exchange for his verse written on rolled-up scrolls of paper. "He's not being charged for the sale itself," said Marco Agostini, the director general of the Venice municipality. "It's because he was on public ground. If (the charges) concerned the actual sale, it would be a matter of vending without a permit, which carries a fine of at least 5,000 euros".
Agostini said Melis should be held accountable to the same rules as street artisans, such as landscape painters common around all Italian art attractions who must have a permit. Agostini added that the street bard was using his poetry "as a way to beg for money".