Pietro C. Marani and Maria Teresa Fiorio, the curators of “Leonardo 1450 – 1519 il disegno del mondo” exhibition, which will take place at next year’s Milan Expo (15th of April – 19th of July, 2015) will host a special preview showing of Leonardo’s drawings at the Chiostro di Sant’Agostino, in Pietrasanta, tonight, the 21st of August, at 9pm.

The curators are experts in the field – Marani is President of the Raccolta Vinciana in Milan, member of the Commissione nazionale Vinciana, and professor of Modern Art History in Milan, and Florio is Vice-president of the Raccolta Vinciana and head of the scientific committee of the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana.

Why Pietrasanta, you may ask… ? Well, the exhibition forsees showing works by contemporary artists, and one of Gustavo Aceves’ monumental horses – seen in the Piazza in Pietrasanta, this spring – will have a prominent showing in Milan, next year.

Special Preview Showing
“Leonardo 1450 1519 il disegno del mondo”
Thursday, the 21st of August, 2014, at 9:30pm
Chiostro di Sant’Agostino



Click on the screengrab above to see the MSNBC newscast of the event.

The Huffington Post reports that two journalists -the Huffington Post’s Ryan J. Reilly and the Washington Post’s Wesley Lowery – were arrested in a McDonalds in ferguson, MO.

The HP reports:

“The Huffington Post’s Ryan J. Reilly and the Washington Post’s Wesley Lowery were arrested Wednesday evening while covering the protests in Ferguson, Missouri after the death of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown, who was shot by a police officer last week. The journalists were released unharmed, but their detentions highlighted the town’s ramped up police presence, which has left numerous residents injured by rubber bullets, pepper spray and tear gas during protests held every night after Brown’s death.

SWAT officers roughed up the reporters inside a McDonald’s, where both journalists were working. Reilly snapped a photo, prompting cops to request his identification.

“The officer in question, who I repeatedly later asked for his name, grabbed my things and shoved them into my bag,” said Reilly, who appeared on MSNBC’s “All In with Chris Hayes” shortly after his release to recount the arrest. “He used his finger to put a pressure point on my neck.”

“They essentially acted as a military force. It was incredible,” Reilly said. “The worst part was he slammed my head against the glass purposefully on the way out of McDonald’s and then sarcastically apologized for it.””

The Washington Post released the following statement.




Previously on Art is Life:

Pop (art) will eat itself (con’t) … Andy Warhol eating a hamburger, 1981

Art is Life :: Painting is Loving



The song “McDonalds” is a track from singer-songwriter and sound designer Jacopo Gobber. He was born in Venice, and studied in Verona doing his dissertation on “Music in Advertisements: the influence of the sound track on consumer buying patters.”

The song appears in Gobber’s first album, “L’estetica del lavoro” (The aesthetics of work) … it is a free download.

Visit the artists’s website linked here. To hear Jacopo Gobber’s two albums, in their entirity, visit his bancamp page, linked here. 



Painting and sculpture, are united in an ancestral dialogue. Simona Pesetti hosts “Instinctum,” a second group show with works by six contemporary artists, in the exhibition space located at her family-run marble laboratory.

The artists are: Robin Bell, Alice Simi, Angelo Fiorentini, Libero Balderi, Anna Cirillo, and Federico Baratta.

The opening reception is tonight, the 13th of August, 2014, at 6:30pm.

The reception is produced in conjunction with the local Enoteca Marcucci, a wine-shop/restaurant in Pietrasanta, known for its good wines – and interest in art.

Robin Bell, Alice Simi, Angelo Fiorentini, Libero Balderi, Anna Cirillo, and Federico Baratta.
From the 13th of August, 2014.
Via I Maggio, 8
For more information, call: (+39) 329 6705340

Hours: everyday from 10:30am to 1pm and from 6pm to midnight.

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/91116915″>Hemera</a&gt; from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/taradivilly”>tara laguna divilly</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

We post six pieces from sculptor Tara Divilly – mysterious, challenging, beautiful and unyieldingly soulful. The first one is: Hemera… the other 5 follow after the “jump.”


Read the rest of this entry »


To hear the full album, click on the first song in the playlist.
You can purchase the album on the bandcamp page, linked here.

(Thanks Tara!)



Female body parts are served on platters in Cinzia Rossi’s “Il Pranzo é servito,” (Lunch is Served) and it’s one of 100 works on display in the streets, cellars, alleys and piazzas of Torano, a little village near Carrara. This year’s exhibition is dedicated to Surrealism and Frida Kahlo on the 50th anniversary of her death.

Cinzia Rossi’s work raises questions – and has raised some eyebrows – putting a spotlight on the issue of the treatment of women in the media. 25 other artists have taken part in Torano Notte e Giorno, in Carrara; the exhibition, curated by Emma Castè and Luciano Massari, ends tomorrow, the 13th of August, 2014.

The artists participating are: Michele Monfroni, Sandro del Pistoia, Paolo Franzoso, Giovanni Salvaro, Cinzia Rossi, Ilaria Bertagnini, Massimo Vanelli, Marco Ambrosini, Giulio Rossi, Daniele Guidugli, 4tuesday, Leardo Sciacoviello, Maurizio Fruzzetti, Giuliano Ciardi, Stefano Lanzardo, Paolo Fiorellini, Elisa Modugno, Ezio de Angeli, Santucci Group, Eugenia Serafini, Emma Castè, Mattia Coli, Claudia Sighicelli, Francesca Bioli, Ciro Vittorio Formisano, and Andrea Pucci.

Visit Torano Notte e Giorno’s website for more information, to see more artwork on exhibit, and directions – linked here.




This Wednesday, the 13th of August at 9:30pm, Intrecciarte, the cultural association, presents another evening of art, music and poetry. “I Destini della Terra” is the title of the evening’s proceedings, and it features poetry by the noted art critic Giuseppe Cordoni, paintings by Mariano Domenici, an exponent of Arte Povera in versilia, and original guitar compositions by Roberto Magri.

The evening offers an encounter of the arts, and finds itself at the crossroads of installation, performance and recital.

The opening is the 13th of August, 2014, at 9:30pm.

Giuseppe Cordoni, “Il pane in prestito”
Mariano Domenici, “Polittico del perso paradiso”
Roberto Magri, “Miniature”
“I destini della terra”
August 13th, 2014 at 9:30pm
Intrecciarte Art Gallery
Via barsanti, 50

Visit the gallery website, linked here, for more information.


Photo by Charles De Tarr.


The horrors of war re-invent themselves generation after generation, day after day. Joseph Sheppard, an American painter and sculptor, who has worked in Pietrasanta for 30 years, exhibits “The Horrors of War” – 12 paintings, one of which is 2 meters by three, at the newly refurbished Palazzo Moroni, in Pietrasanta.

The opening is Wednesday, the 13th of August, 2014, at 6pm.

The works have never before been exhibited – Sheppard produced them in 2013; they are epic panoramas of destruction, and testament to man’s inhumanity to man. To call them beautiful paintings is not appropriate, but they are masterfully rendered. Sheppard is familiar with the story of the massacre of Sant’Anna – he lives in Valdicastello, a village just below Sant’Anna. One of the works in the show depicts the horrors of August 12th, 1944.

Joseph Sheppard, class of 1930, has worked with Pietrasanta’s marble laboratories and bronze foundries since 1984 – he received the prestigious “Pietrasanta e la Versilia nel mondo” prize, in 2008.

The Consul General of the United States, in Florence, Abigail Rup, will be present, along with Domenico Lombardi, Pietrasanta’s Mayor, at the opening on Wednesday.

Visit the artist’s website, linked here.
Visit the Museo dei Bozzetti page devoted to him, linked here.

Joseph Sheppard
“Gli Orrori della Guerra”
From the 13th of August, to the 7th of September, 2014
Palazzo Moroni
Piazza del Duomo, (next to the belltower)

Hours: Tuesday through Sunday: 6pm to 8pm, and 10pm to midnight.
FREE and open to the public..


300 people, adults and children participated in a “flash mob” for peace, last Friday. A giant “NO” written in chalk covered the Piazza in Pietrasanta, in front of the main church. A solemn gathering for peace – to decry the treatment of children in the ongoing war in the Middle East.

Don D’Atri, the parish priest apparently was not particularly impressed – he asked, unsuccessfully, that the assembled evacuate the church steps – as neither were several facebook friends of those who participated, and posted photos of the event on their facebook pages.

The mayor of Pietrasanta, a city known more for art than political events, was also not pleased that the city was not told of the event, although he was present; he stated that he was touched by the event and he underlined that children are sacred anywhere, not just in Gaza, “but in every war, or terrorist act where there are civilian victims.”

Some in the social network wondered why all the attention is being devoted to the current war in Gaza, and not to other conflicts underway. Children are often victims in wars, just these days 500 Yazidis, among the thousands displaced in northern Iraq, have been killed – 130 of them children.

The event sponsors have been accused of being anti-semitic… some of the participants have had their facebook friendships cancelled … and the sponsors were also fined, by law enforcement, for making a mess in a public place.

The photos above is by Patricia Franceschetti from her fb page.


On August 12th, 1944, Nazi Waffen-SS troops, aided by local Fascists, killed 560 civilians – 130 children – in the little village of Sant’Anna, in the hills above Pietrasanta in northern Tuscany, as part of their campaign against the Italian Resistance movement. The massacre is a dark moment in the already dark annals of the history of WWII.

Because of political pressure from the Italian Fascists after the war, the investigation dossiers lay in a “cabinet of shame” in Rome. It is only recently that the ramifications of the event have been discussed openly – and what happened on that dark day, have been fully examined by the Italian government. The German government has closed and then re-opened proceedings against the last surviving soldiers who participated to the massacre.

Tuesday, the 12th of August, 2014, marks the 70th anniversary of the dread deed, and the little village in the Apuan Alps plans events to commemorate the massacre. On Tuesday official celebrations of the 70th anniversary take place at the church and monument of Sant’Anna; the Mayor of Pietrasanta will be present. On Wednesday, the American painter and sculptor Joseph Sheppard’s “Orrori della Guerra” (Horrors of War) art exhibition opens in Pietrasanta. The rememberances continue on the 19th with events at San Terenzo Bardine.

Some young folk – winners of the national “Sant’Anna di Stazzema: il passato, il presente, il futuro” contest (which was produced by the Ministero dell’Istruzione, Università e Ricerca, the Comune of Stazzema, the Parco Nazionale della Pace, the Unione dei Comuni della Versilia, and Anpi and Insmli) have set up a blog, which contains documents and interviews.

The blog is called Oraioso, and we link to it here, the hashtag is #KNOWIKNOW.

We direct you to a Wikipedia article on the massacre of Sant’Anna, linked here.

There is an annual organ music festival which takes place at Sant’Anna. The 2014 “Organo della Pace” festival is taking place these weeks, we direct you to a page with previous posts … with the program, linked here.

The photo above is from the Oraioso blog.



Lorenzo Ghielmi is an Italian organist and harpsichordist. He teaches old music at the Accademia Internazionale della Musica in Milan and at the “Schola Cantorum Basiliensis” in Basel.

The video above is from Lorenzo Ghielmi’s youtube channel. The Bach Concerto will most likely not be performed…  we post the piece to showcase Mr Ghielmi’s notable skills – as the program for Sunday’s performance has not been made public. We link to Lorenzo Ghielmi’s fb page, here.

The 2014 “Organo della Pace” festival continues until the 31st of August, we direct you to a page with previous posts, linked here.

We post the complete 2014 program of concerts in Sant’Anna here:
(Concerts start at 6pm)

July 5th    Hansjörg Albrecht, organ (München)
July 6th    (at 9pm) Pietrasanta, La Versiliana, Gedenkkonzert
Orchestra Regionale della Toscana (ORT) und Münchener Bachchor, Ltg. Hansjörg Albrecht La Versiliana, Parco della Versiliana 55045 Marina di Pietrasanta (we link to the concert program, here.)
July 13th    Luca Scandali, organ, (Pesaro) with Hannes Läubin (Munich) and Max Westermann (Kassel), Trumpets.
World-premiere: “Music for a Church” – Jan Müller-Wieland (Munich)
July 20th     Gerhard Weinberger (Munich)
July 27th    Edoardo Bellotti (Mailand/Rochester USA)
August 3rd    Stefania Mettadelli, organ (Massa) with Isabella Stabio (Turin), on saxophone
World-premiere: “Three Songs for the Stones of Stazzema Stazzema“ Stefano Teani, Istituto Boccherini (Lucca)
August 10th    Emanuele Cardi (Battipaglia)
August 17th    Lorenzo Ghielmi (Mailand/ Basel)
August 24th    Pavel Kohout (Prague)
August 31st    Lorenzo Marzona (Spilimbergo): In memoriam Giancarlo Marzona



Three artists whose explorations in “the real” have yielded very different results show in “3 x 3″ at the Eduardo Secci Contemporary gallery in Pietrasanta.

Chiara Dynys has focused her research on the cognitive processes of environment, work and spectator. Dynys show works from her “Duale” series, reduplicated visions of object/subject, work/spectator – works seen through lenticular lenses, or shiny reflective surfaces. Sergio Lombardo, a Roman artist whose “typical gestures” paintings of the 60s – stark black and white silhouettes of famous persons – teeter between sign and icon. Michelangelo Pistoletto, was central figure of the Italian “Arte Povera” movement continues his exploration of reality through his “Quadri Specchianti,” his mirrored paintings, through which he upends the traditional concept of perspective, where the spectator ends up within the work.

The opening is tonight, Saturday, the 8th of August, 2014 from 7pm to midnight.

Visit the gallery website, for more information, linked here.



Chiara Dynys, Sergio Lombardo, Michelangelo Pistoletto
“3 x 3″
From the 8th of August to the 30th of September, 2014
Eduardo Secci Contemporary
Via Stagio Stagi, 38



For several years “Le Mani Eccellenze in Versilia,” organized bt CNA Lucca, has been the signature appointment of art and design events in the Versilia Region. It’s third edition, featuring the works of artists and designers, called “Meravigliosi marmi; Art & Design, immaginare, progettare e arredare” goes on view starting today, at Pietrasanta’s M.U.S.A..

On view is the work of: Paolo Ulian, Philippe Delenseigne, Architettura Sonora, Henraux, Studio Franco Cervietti, Barsi Marmi, Emmepi Studio, Cardini Josafat & F., Szymon Oltarzewski, Ezio Ronchieri Group, Ilo Dati, Stile Luce, Veronica Fonzo, Flavia Robalo, Artmarmo, Aldo Pesetti Marmi, DAM Decorazioni Marmi, Sophie Lafont, and Bertozzi Felice.

Visit M.U.S.A.’s website, for more information, linked here.

The opening is tonight, Friday, the 8th of August, 2014 at 6:30pm.

“Meravigliosi Marmi; Art & Design: immaginare. progettare, arredare”
From the 8th of August to the 7th of September, 2014


The Sovrintendenza – the cultural authority – of the Reggio Calabria region, which is home to the museum which houses the original Riace bronzes, has written a letter asking the city of Camaiore for documentation, and asks wether Camaiore obtained permission to exhibit the bronze warriors. Camaiore has temporarily placed the copies at the entrance of the Pier in Lido di Camaiore. The copies, faithful to the last detail, were produced at the Fonderia Del Chiaro in Pietrasanta.

The originals, 5th C BCE bronzes were found off the coast of Calabria in 1972; they are in the news (see the post below) because a photographer recently dressed the figures in feather boas and leopard thongs, raising concerns that the statues are not cared-for enough by the museum.

Camaiore’s mayor Alessandro Del Dotto has added fuel to the controversy, by jabbing that he finds it curious that the Reggio Calabria Sovrintendenza finds the time to query Camaiore – which, according to him, has “all the necessary documents” – while it allows photographing the originals in … well, as they have been photographed.

Visit the Fonderia Del Chiaro’s website, linked here – and visit Camaiore’s website, linked here.

The photo is from la Gazzetta di Viareggio.

Previously on Art is Life:

Sculpture Shock: Photographer dresses up the Riaci Bronzes in thongs, feather boas… his shoot is suspended, he gets the boot

Riace Bronzes on display again… finalmente!


Gioni David Parra exhibits “A Secret Chamber” 20 darkly luminous canvases and a very secret site-specific installation in a picturesque 19th c building in Pisa Migliarino.

“I wanted to give a sixth sense to that which isn’t there.” states the artist, “I believe that it is extremely rational assuming that even unheard sounds exist. And so with thought, and and so with everything that passes through our senses. And so to rationally accept mystery.”

The opening reception is Wednesday, the 13th of August at 7pm.

Visit the artist’s website, linked here.

Gioni David Parra
“A Secret Chamber”
Magazzini Lisbetta Salviati per l’Arte
Migliarino Pisano
From the 13th of August to the 13th of September, 2014

The exhibition is viewable only by appointment; call 333 6392040

Previously on Art is Life:

“The Uncertain Safety Exit” Gioni David Parra on the Sustainable Precariousness of Being


Music is art… art is life. From Vivaldi to Holst to Toro Takemitsu, from Miles Davis to the Soundtracks to “Phantom of Paradise” and “The Wicker Man” … we’ve posted a lot of music over the past few years; music to inspire, to daydream to, new music and very, very ancient music, … and you can find it all on a page which we link to, here. 

As we say: “Press Play!” … and press play again!


From New York to Tuscany; Accesso Gallery in Pietrasanta hosts “Visual Intelligence; recent works from the New York Academy of Art.” Seven artists’ works – paintings on canvas, and on paper, and sculptures – are on view: Peter Simon Mühlhäußer, Nicolas V. Sanchez, Amber Sena – already belonging to the roster of Accesso Gallery – are joined by Aleah Chapin, Ian Factor, Zoë Sua Kay, Elliot Purse.

The show is curated by Brad Brubaker, of Accesso Gallery. Eileen Guggenheim, art historian and president of CDA, and Peter Drake have written texts for the catalog.

Visit the gallery website, linked here.



Peter Simon Mühlhäußer, Nicolas V. Sanchez, Amber Sena, Aleah Chapin, Ian Factor, Zoë Sua Kay, Elliot Purse.
“Visual Intelligence; recent works from the New York Academy of Art.”
Until the 5th of September, 2014
Accesso Gallery
Via del Marzocco, 68 – 70

Hours: from Monday to Thursday, from 6pm to 11pm, from Friday to Sunday, from 10:30am to 12:30pm and from 6pm to midnight.


The “Lizzatura Storica, 2014″ gets re-staged this Sunday, the 10th of August at 9am at Ponte di Vara, above Carrara. The “Lizzatura” is the ancient system of transporting marble, the bringing-to-valley of the marble blocks. It is a daring technique – difficult, back-breaking and very dangerous – that started at the same time man started extracting marble from the mountain quarries.

The “Lizzatori” who were grouped in numerous teams and together would lower the huge blocks of marble along “Lizzatura” pathways – without the aid of any mechanical device. These pathways were made using the natural slope of the mountains, or improvised using the stream-beds which led down to the valley. Risk, fatigue, sweat, and courage were a component of the daily lives of the Lizzatori of Carrara. The streets’ names in the area today bear witness to the difficulties faced by the men – one street is called the “Via dei martiri del lavoro.” (Martyrs of Work, Road).

It was these same workers who brought the famous “Marble Colossus” a huge block of marble (intended for the construction of the Mussolini Column, in Rome) from the quarries to the port of Carrara, in 1928, in a remarkable feat of engineering. The whole event was filmed by the Italian Film Institute, Luce, and we post it below.

Since 2007 the Associazione Compagna Lizzatori Carrara, the modern-day heir to the ancient endeavor, has staged the historic “Lizzatura.” It is a dramatic event that links the quarrying work through time – and which still manages to make the hairs on one’s neck stand up.

For more info: email: associazione.lizzatori@hotmail.it, or tel: 0584 775219.

The photo above is from Delcampe.com.



Italy’s cultural elite is up in arms again, this time because a photographer dressed the famous Italian bronze sculptures of two warriors in fluffy wedding veils, leopard thongs and pink feather boas.

Ok, so photographer Gerald Bruneau didn’t exactly tell museum officials that he was going to “do up” the warriors in fluffy pink boas, but he had been given permission to shoot the bronzes in the Reggio Calabria museum which houses them. He had previously done a photoshoot at the Galleria Borghese in Rome, which apparently did feature a work of Paolina dolled-up in a red cloth, but this did not seem to have been found distasteful by the museum officials.

As soon as staff noticed the “art direction” of the shoot they intervened and stopped the shoot… museum officials were not amused. The incident has caused much debate – some have seen this as a general inability of local institutions to care for the works in their collection, some have even called this a conspiracy to besmirch the Reggio Calabria Museum… a local politician has called for a formal investigation of the affair.

The bronzes were discovered off the coast of Calabria, in southern Italy, in 1972. They have only recently been exhibited after years of restoration attempts and political back and forth between various arts institutions who fought for the right to exhibit the 5th C BCE statues.

Dagospia, an Italian website has just published some of the offending photos – the photo above is from their site – the photos are kind of silly and fun, and definitely a totally contextual riff on the cult of the nude warrior, you can see more of Bruneau’s photos, on the Dagospia website, linked here.




The Museo dei Bozzetti in Pietrasanta is a truly unique museum. Its curatorial ethic is unlike that of other museums; the MdB showcases the models – most often plaster models – for works by some of the great sculptors working in the last 60 years in Pietrasanta.

These models are an intermediary step in the process of sculpture. They are used by the artisans in the marble laboratories and bronze foundries to produce the final sculptures. The works are housed in the Chiostro of the Church/Museum of Sant’Agostino – the juxtaposition of the works makes for surprising contrasts… it is one of our favorite museums anywhere!

Visit the MdB’s official website for more information and a complete list of the works in its collection, linked here.

The Museo dei Bozzetti hosts guided tours and other family-friendly initiatives; they have a blog, which we link here, and it is free and open to the public.

The photos are by the San Francisco-based photographer William Mercer Mcleod, visit his website, linked here.

Previously on Art is Life:

Take a virtual tour of the Museo dei Bozzetti in Pietrasanta

“Le Voci del Mondo” – The Museo dei Bozzetti offers free guided tours this Saturday and Sunday

The Museo dei Bozzetti home of a great collection of artists’ models takes part in “Italy-France” Exhibition in Pietrasanta

Gustavo Velez donates the model for his “Hipercubicos” to the Museo dei Bozzetti, in Pietrasanta

Giuliano Vangi, master sculptor, donates a second plaster model to Pietrasanta’s Museo dei Bozzetti

Maquettes au Clair de Lune – Pietrasanta’s Museo dei Bozzetti offers an evening tour of its collection of plaster models as part of “La Notte dei Musei.”

Free guided tours and some special events take place at The Museo dei Bozzetti in Pietrasanta for the Settimana della Cultura this weekend


Carrara Marble Weeks 2014, is wrapping up. The fair of all things marble in Carrara comes to a close, tomorrow Sunday, the 3rd of August.

We link you to the Programma… with listings of all of the exhibitions and events scheduled for the weekend.

The photo above is of a sculpture by Boutros Romhein, Carrara-based sculptor and teacher. It’s located at Corso Rosselli, in Carrara.

Previously on Art is Life:

“Marble sculpture course in Italy, c/o Arco Arte – Carrara”



The organ festival dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the massacre of Sant’Anna di Stazzema continues this Sunday with the world-premiere performance of “Tre canti delle Pietre di Stazzema” by Stefano Teani. Stefania Mettadelli (from Massa) on organ, and Isabella Stabio (from Torino), on saxophone.

Stefano Teani
“Tre canti delle Pietre di Stazzema”
Sunday, the 3rd of August at 6pm.
Stefania Mettadelli (organ) Isabella Stabio (Saxophone)
Church of Sant’Anna
Sant’Anna di Stazzema

FREE and open to the public.
The Festival continues until the end of August. It’s a chance to see, and hear, some world-class organists, and to commemorate the massacre of Sant’Anna. For more information on the Nazi-Fascist massacre of 560 innocent women children and elderly folk see the wikipedia article, linked here, – and for the complete Programma of concerts upcoming, see the links below.

Previously on Art is Life:

The “2014 Organo della Pace” concert season – in memory of the 70th anniversary of the massacre in Sant’Anna – opens this July 5th

We originally posted the video above two-and-a-half years ago… there’s more “Random Pietrasanta (and Carrara) Videos” that we posted so far on a page, linked here.




You can purchase the full album for 5 Pounds or more, on the bandcamp page, linked here.

(via A Closer Listen)


Now it’s the environmentalists versus Philippe Daverio, in the ongoing marble quarry controversy, in Carrara’s marble region in Tuscany.

In an open letter addressed to the noted art critic, the environmentalists asked for some clarification on the issue, and wanted to make a few points of their own. The list of environmental groups involved is: the Cultural Associations CAI-TAM, Italia Nostra Regionale, Forum Ambientale Toscano, G.I.R.O.S., Circoli Legambientali di Carrara, Lunigiana, Massa-Montignoso, La Pietra Vivente, la Rete dei Comitatiper la Difesa del Territorio, No al traforo della Tambura, Occhioni e Magrini, Salviamo le Alpi Apuane, Salviamo le Apuane, the Società degli Amici dei Ronchi e Poveromo … and WWF-Lucca.

The environmentalists were accused by Daverio of holding onto “Paleolithic ideas” regarding the fate of the marble quarries in the Apuan Alps. They have come back swinging; they state: “We’d like to make a few comments on what the art critic Philippe Daverio said recently, and which was reported in the media – starting by saying that the critic’s position is steeped in ignorance, in the true sense of the word (of one who does not know something because they ignore it), and an absolute lack of knowledge of Italian and European laws. As president of the Premio Henraux jury,” continues the letter, “it is normal that he would defend the prize and all that’s behind it, but as citizen he should know that the quarrying activity in itself is a violation of the 2000 Nature Sites Law, and violates article 142 of the Beni Culturali, and it contravenes the norms for the protection of the area’s waterways.

The letter continues: “As a citizen he should get information about the quarries’ annual budgets and surging revenues, which is a practically unique case in the distressed Italian economic panorama. He should see that these increases in revenue have not translated into less unemployment, that the marble dust (“Marmettola” in Italian) kills life in the rivers, and is a pollutant also because of it’s heavy metals content, not to mention the devastation of the mountain tops (a classic example is the Cervaiole ridge because these are tangible signs of incivility.”

The environmentalists’ letter concludes thus: “Michelangelo’s genius and of the other, even contemporary sculptors who struggle today to obtain blocks of marble to work on, are our only hope. You can be sure, Professor that you won’t have the opportunity to see the mountains green like in Switzerland, ours is a gray stone, white, solid rock that we citizens will defend with determination and firmness.”

The photo above is of Monte Atissimo / Cervaiole, from Wikipedia, linked here.

Previously on Art is Life:

The Marble Quarry Wars ____________ The art critic Philippe Daverio on the marble quarries: “Enough with paleolithic ideas, the Apuan Alps are beautiful because of the intervention of man”

The Marble Quarry Wars ____________ Local hiking club trail signage destroyed

The Quarry Controversy: Tuscany passes a compromise plan on the management of marble quarries within the Apuan Alps Natural Park – and no one is happy; scheduled for tomorrow Tuesday the 1st of July: a complete shutdown of the industry… and a “March on Florence”

24 hours to “Stop the Destruction of the Apuan Alps”

“In the quarry of Michelangelo, it’s war between environmentalists and quarrymen” The Italian daily ‘La Stampa’ follows the ongoing controversy over the marble quarries in the Apuan Alps

Marble Quarry Closures – The seven mayors of the Versilia stand united against Tuscany

48 marble quarries at risk of being shut down as part of new Tuscany Region environmental plan

“L’economia alternativa nelle Apuane” conference will address alternatives to the ongoing marble quarrying, this Saturday, in Lucca

“Turning Art History into Toothpaste” The issues involving the “ongoing environmental disaster” in Carrara’s marble region are beginning to be noticed

<Reposting: “The destruction of the Apuan Alps; the greatest environmental disaster of Europe”

UPDATE: ____________ “Stop the destruction of the Apuan Alps” – Online petition gathers steam, prompts an official response

“SALVIAMO LE APUANE” Environmentalists and “escursionisti” tag Mount Pania to stop the “destruction of the Apuan Alps”

“The Plundered Alps” Der Spiegel Magazine tells of the devastation of the Apuan Alps

John Singer Sargent’s watercolors of the Marble Quarries in Carrara

“The Apennine in the light of day / Is a mighty mountain dim and gray.” B&W photos of the marble quarries in the Apuan Alps over Carrara

“Out of the Mist – the Rock Art of the Alpi Apuane” at Villa Gori


Three of Julia Vance’s “Me/We” sculptures are stuck at Norwegian Customs because the Customs officials cannot recognize them as being sculptures. The Pietrasanta-based Norwegian sculptor has made Pietrasanta the home of her creative endeavors, she recently had a show in her hometown of Oslo. The sculptures in questions were exhibited in Pietrasanta, this year as part of the annual “Homo Faber” exhibition. But according to the straight-thinking officials they are “only metal.”

The Minister of Culture and the Ministry of Finance are investigating and Norwegian media are following the case.

The sculptures were made in Pietrasanta at IDEAL FERRO, an artisan laboratory, as a commission from the County of Oslo. they are to be placed in front of the main train station, next thursday, that is if they are released by Customs.

Visit the artist’s website linked here.

Previously on Art is Life:

Julia Vance, Pietrasanta based sculptor exhibits “Bøye Stein” in Oslo

“Making Stone Breathe” a short film about the sculpture of Julia Vance by Ninja Benneche

Pietrasanta’s “Homo Faber, 2014″ the third edition, celebrates the close relationship of artist to artisan – with fifteen studios, 38 artists, 60 works ____________ Pietrasanta Sultura, 2014


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