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‘Make America Grate Again’: Canadian artist building massive cheese wall along U.S.-Mexico border

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ABOVE: Artist building border wall made entirely of cheese – Mar 28, 2019

A Canadian artist is trying to “Make America Grate Again” by erecting a massive wall along the U.S.-Mexico border made entirely from large bricks of spoiled, smelly cheese.

Montreal-born artist Cosimo Cavallaro began building the six-foot high cheese wall Monday in Tecate, California, out of massive blocks of expired Cotija, which costs about $100 apiece.

Cavallaro, who is based in Los Angeles, told CBS he had the idea for the cheese wall for a few years, but it was always on the backburner.

READ MORE: U.S. Border Patrol records the most single-day arrests along the Mexican border in over 10 years

“All of a sudden [Donald] Trump gets elected and he keeps talking about the wall, the wall, the wall,” the artist said.

Cavallaro started the wall with 200 blocks of the expired milk product, which covers about nine metres in length. His goal is to erect a 300-metre cheese barrier. However, like the U.S. president, Cavallaro’s wall needs some funding so the artist launched a GoFundMe page.

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“If it takes a cheese wall at the border to make people look at the ‘wall’ in a different way, that’s what Cosimo will create,” reads a message on the fundraiser website.

Cavallaro, a son of Italian immigrants, told McClatchy news service he finds humour in the medium he’s working with.

“There’s a humour in this. The idea is: This is a wall of cheese, it’s perishable,” Cavallaro said. “People will say, ‘This is a waste.’

“You can see the waste in this [cheese] wall, but you can’t see the waste in a $10 billion wall?” the artist said.

Trump declared a national emergency in order to obtain funding for the barrier along the border.

READ MORE: ‘There is no crisis at the border’ — U.S. unauthorized immigration near 12-year lows, report shows

Trump wants to use the emergency order to divert billions of federal dollars earmarked for defence spending toward the southern border wall. It still faces several legal challenges from Democratic state attorneys general and environmental groups, who argue the emergency declaration was unconstitutional.

As for Cavallaro’s wall, the artist cites his childhood in Quebec for deciding to build the barrier out of expired dairy product.

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“I like cheese,” Cavallaro told McClatchy. “It’s just part of my upbringing. I love the smell of it. It brings me back in time.”

As of Thursday morning, Cavallaro has raised just over $1,400 of his $300,000 goal.