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Artist found dead on stairs near final work

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RIO DE JANEIRO —  The candy-colored steps of a staircase in Rio’s bohemian neighborhood of Lapa were the life work of Chilean artist Jorge Selaron and a symbol of his adopted city. On this gray, rainy Thursday, they became his memorial, the Associated Press is reporting.

The painter, who turned the 215 steps into a kaleidoscope of brightly hued tiles from all over the world, transforming a dingy, urine-scented alley and stairs into a rambunctious “tribute to the Brazilian people,” was found dead on his masterpiece.

Rio de Janeiro police discovered his body in front of his house Thursday, one of the humble colonials that flank the staircase as it ascends into the St. Teresa Convent above.

Visitors dropped flowers and tried to light candles in the blustery weather on his doorstep.

Investigators would not disclose the cause of death and were not discarding murder.

Source: Associated Press