The snails are here! The snails are here!!

These snails slink along east of the drawbridge on the way to Belle Isle.

The first sign of Art Basel popped up on the Venetian Causeway today: Purple-pink snails, part of an art installation that will dot the causeway and other part of South Beach for the rest of 2010.

We first wrote about the snail invasion in September, and The Miami Herald’s David Smiley had a story on Saturday.  In all, 45 of the snails, brought here by an Italian art gallery, will be placed along the Venetian and in Maurice Gibb Memorial Park and Lummus Park.

Now that they are in place — wow, crazy!

The Ca‘ d’Oro Gallery & Cracking Art Group, based in Rome (and planning to open a Miami gallery), is spending about $100,000 on the six-week exhibition, which would be in place before, during and after this December’s Art Basel (Dec. 2-5).

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