01/10/2013 11:29 am ET Updated Mar 12, 2013

Artist Found Dead On Rio Mosaic Staircase He Spent 20 Years Creating

The ceramic street artist who created one of Rio de Janeiro's most distinctive landmarks was found dead on Thursday on the spectacular mosaic staircase in Lapa that he decorated with brightly coloured tiles and mirrors over more than two decades.

Jorge Selarón, a Chilean artist who transformed the 215 steps of the Convent of Santa Teresa as a "tribute to the Brazilian people", had reportedly suffered depression and was being threatened by a former colleague connected to local drug gangs.