Sculptor “occupies” Pietrasanta’s Piazza, graciously donates sculpture to the City… – in return, he gets a fine and his sculpture back


Lorenzo Rappelli, a sculptor from nearby Massa, snuck into Pietrasanta’s main Piazza in the night, last week, and placed one of his works, a rather artfully executed olive tree in clay, smack dab in the middle of the City of Art’s most prestigious exhibition space – and right alongside works in the ongoing Gustavo Velez exhibition.

The sculptor spoke to Luca Basile of the local daily Il Tirreno and stated that his act was a provocation meant to protest years of “doors shutting in my face” and a curatorial practice the artist believes favors famous foreign artists. “To be honest, I took that, which for 30-years, was denied to me.” Rappelli says his terracotta olive tree symbolizes the Church, and the region, and that its installation took “very little public space.” He has also stated that he will donate the work, valued at 5000 euros, to the city.

His gesture was not appreciated at City Hall, the Mayor, Domenico Lombardi told il Tirreno: “A way of behaving that speaks for itself, Rappelli, a person that I do not remember meeting. decided to exhibit his sculpture in Piazza Duomo, without asking for any authorization, and ignoring the fact that there’s currently another artist’s show in the Piazza. He will answer – as law prescribes – for his behavior. What if every sculptor did this? The Piazza and Pietrasanta are important showcases for artists, famous and not, so much so that we receive up to 250 requests a year: the city’s exhibition spaces are booked for thr next two years, but one has to respect the rules. Rappelli has not done this and for this he will be charged and will have to pay for the removal of the work. Not to mention the existing safety requirements that need to be adhered to. We don’t accept this type of provocation; we will return his sculpture.”

The photo above, of the sculpture, and below, of its removal by city workers are from the artist’s facebook page.

You can see more photos – and a video interview, in italiano, with the artist – on the Italian-language local daily, il Tirreno, linked here.


Visit the artist’s fb page, linked here.

(via Il Tirreno)

Previously on Art is Life:

Gustavo Vélez, Colombian artist exhibits his marble, bronze and steel works in a major personal exhibition ____________ Pietrasanta Sculpture, 2013

3 thoughts on “Sculptor “occupies” Pietrasanta’s Piazza, graciously donates sculpture to the City… – in return, he gets a fine and his sculpture back

  1. I hope the fine wasn’t too much for him. Worth the effort. We do need to appreciate all art, local and foreign. We wish for openness rather than exclusiveness in art.

    • The list of shows sponsored by the city over the past years does feature many local artists (and also many not-so local artists from Italy…) the Piazza though, the city’s “Salotto Nobile” (the noble salon) usually showcases the work of the art-world’s Big Fish: internationally known artists sometimes with ties to Pietrasanta’s marble laboratories and bronze foundries … … (to be continued…)

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