Walking Man and Standing Man - © Roberto Alborghetti (6)

© Roberto Alborghetti

Walking along the Canal path, at Point Complex at Paddington Basin, not so far from Little Venice area, in London, I had the great surprise to admire two statues. Or better: a scene “depicted” by two statues…

They are sculptures representing two men: one is walking and the other is standing. The two giant sized men are facing each other, at some meters of distance. Both are life-size or maybe a bit taller and are cast from bronze and painted with oil paints. And if you pass there at the rush-hour, they mix themselves among the crowd.

The two statues were created by the British Sculptor Sean Henry and displayed at Paddington Basin in 2003 (as an inscription says). Of the same artist we can also admire in London the three statues called Man With Potential Selves, that are located in the lobby of the The Cumberland Hotel.

Yes, very impressive sculptures indeed. So “normal”, so “human” but so impressive! Whether you are a Londoner, or tourist visiting London get yourself along to Paddington Basin to have a look of Sean Henry’s masterpieces, Walking Man and Standing Man, and the Man With Potential Selves at The Cumberland Hotel. I warmly recommend you this.

The two statues at Paddington Basin evoke a sense of estrangement that accentuates the anonymity that usually attacks us when we are in a great metropolis. And then, inside us, questions and thoughts begin to raise. The bronze statues by Sean Henry help us to make a responses space. And to find out, once again, how art is close to people, to their soul, to their thoughts.



Photos: Roberto Alborghetti    


In recent weeks I had the pleasure of visiting an exhibition at the medieval Baptistery in Lenno on Lake Como. Piero Marchesini – a distinguished gentleman and artist – exhibited his beautiful art pieces. Marchesini carves wood, carrying out really lovely works. He lives in Lipomo, Como City, and sculpture is his passion. He has already showed his creations around the world raising lot of attention. Marchesini loves to work on subjects recalling mythology, nature, characters from fairy tales and legends and biblical scenes.

He carves wood – walnut, lime, ash, hornbeam, boxwood, maple, olive, cherry-wood and so on – with great mastery and skill and he is able to create works of singular fascination and charm. More than words, count the pictures, just from the exhibition of Lenno. His next show is planned in Menaggio, on Lake Como, from 30 July to 5 August, 2013 at the Art Gallery (Garibaldi square) overlooking the lake. It’s another opportunity to see its stunning creations.




In Fuerteventura local government and municipalities had a good idea. They have displayed beautiful and interesting sculptures at the most important roundabouts. So, while you’re driving along the main roads you have the pleasure to admire art installations which invite you to stop… It’s a sort of permanent gallery showing nice contemporary art made by local or international sculptors.

I saw fascinating pieces. But I was really struck by  “Caminos” made in 2007 by cuban artist Lisbet Fernandez Ramos and located at a roundabout at the entrance of Morro Jable town (Pajara municipality).

The artist created two different groups of kids who are scanning the sky (or the future…) It’s a really impressive scene that invites to slow down and think… And this is another surprise coming from Fuerteventura, wild and fascinating island.

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Created by Mario Salazzari – tortured by nazis after being arrested and imprisoned – this monument can be considered one of the masterpieces of Twentieth century Italian sculpture.


 Yes, dr. Srini Pillay is right when he says that art “encouraging us not to lose ourselves in remembering the tragedy but also seeing the beauty in our resilience as a nation as well as the possibilities for recovery.” (read his article on “The Huffington Post”:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/srinivasan-pillay/911-art_b_953397.html ).

I had the way, in these last days, to be in Verona – the historical and celebrated Verona – and to admire the terrific National monument dedicated to the victims of the massacre perpetrated by the nazis in the greek island of Kefalonia, in September 1943 (my father Battista is one of the few survivors). You find this monument in the Park devoted to the Divisione Acqui (close to Porta Nuova). It was inaugurated on October 23, 1966 by the Prime Minister Aldo Moro and it has been created by Mario Salazzari, from Verona, one of the greatest artists of the Twentieth century.

 Apart from the historical meaning, this monument can be considered the most beautiful contemporary sculptural work in Verona and one of the masterpieces of Twentieth century Italian sculpture. It is a work of considerable majesty, seven and a half meters high. You may see male figures in movement, joined by ropes that look like snakes. In the foreground there is a figure while the other three are in the background. These characters are modeled according to anatomical forms with the best sculptural accuracy. Its aim is that to honor and remember the victims of those terrible events happened in Kefalonia.

Thanks to the efforts of Mr. Alessandro Canestrari, it was commissioned by the Italian Government to Salazzari, an artist who fought for freedom during Italian Resistance against fascism and nazism. This work in bronze shows a marble target with the words “Italy to the martyrs of Divisione Acqui, Kefalonia, Corfu. September 1943” and also “9.000 men of the Division Acqui in the islands of Kefalonia and Corfu suffered the bloody sacrifice to give honor and pledgeresistance to their distant homeland”. Of the 9,000 killed soldiers, 1,200 came from Verona. The “Arena’s City” is today the national headquarter of the Divisione Acqui, founded in 1945, which represents the survivors of the massacre of Kefalonia and Corfu in September 1943.

The horror of the event, symbolized by the bronze snake that pierces the bodies, has been expressed with great cleverness by Mario Salazzari. The artist was born in Lugagnano (November 16, 1904) and died in Verona on June 6, 1993. Nobody better than Salazzari was able to represent that horror, since the sculptor was tortured by nazis after being arrested and imprisoned as a partisan (he was sentenced to 30 years’ imprisonment) in Padua where – a few days before April 25, 1945, and the arrival of Usa allied Army – he managed to escape from.

Horror, despair and deep pity: these are the feelings flowing from this monument. It bring us that sense of “stately sadness” – “the basis of tragedy”, as Jean Racine says – that help us today to remember the Kefalonia events.

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 Si, il dr. Srini Pillay ha ragione quando dice che l’arte “ci incoraggia a non smarrire il ricordo della tragedia, ma anche a vedere la bellezza delle nostre risorse, come nazione e come possibilità di recupero” (leggi l’articolo pubblicato su “The Huffington Post” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/srinivasan-pillay/911-art_b_953397.html )

Ho avuto modo, in questi ultimi giorni di ammirare, a Verona, il meraviglioso monumento nazionale alle vittime dell’eccidio perpetrato dai nazisti nell’Isola di Cefalonia nel settembre 1943 (mio padre Battista è uno degli ormai pochi superstiti del massacro). Il monumento si trova nel Parco proprio dedicato alla Divisione Acqui, in circonvallazione Oriani, vicino a Porta Nuova. E’ considerato uno dei capolavori della scultura veronese del secolo XX. Venne inaugurato il 23 ottobre 1966 dall’allora presidente del Consiglio, Aldo Moro, ed è opera di Mario Salazzari, uno dei grandi artisti veronesi del Novecento.

Al di là del significato storico, il monumento è considerata la più bella opera scultorea contemporanea della città. E’ un’opera imponente, alta sette metri e mezzo. È composta da figure maschili in movimento, legate da corde che sembrano serpenti. In primo piano c’è una figura giacente, mentre altre tre sono dietro, tutte modellate con una precisa accuratezza.

Il monumento – che ha la finalità di onorare e ricordare le vittime dei tragici eventi di Cefalonia – fu commissionato dal governo italiano all’artista veronese Salezzari, combattente per la libertà durante la Resistenza al fascismo ed al nazismo. Venne portato a termine grazie all’impegno dell’onorevole Alessandro Canestrari. È un’opera in bronzo che reca una targa in marmo con queste parole: “L’Italia ai martiri della divisione Acqui, Cefalonia, Corfù. Settembre 1943. È anche scritto 9000 uomini della Divisione Acqui nelle isole di Cefalonia e Corfù vollero il sacrificio cruento per dare alla patria lontana onore e pegno di resistenza.” Dei 9.000 soldati italiani uccisi a Cefalonia e Corfù, 1.200 erano veronesi. La città dell’Arena è oggi la sede dell’Associazione Nazionale Divisione Acqui, fondata nel 1945, per riunire i superstiti dell’eccidio di Cefalonia e Corfù del settembre 1943.

L’orrore della vicenda – rappresentato nel simbolico biscione bronzo che trapassa i corpi – è stato espresso con grande forza artistica da Mario Salazzari, nato a Lugagnano (16 novembre 1904) e morto a Verona (6 giugno 1993). Nessuno meglio di Salazzari era nella condizione di raccontare quell’orrore. L’artista fu egli stesso vittima delle torture naziste: arrestato, imprigionato e condannato a 30 anni di carcere, come partigiano, nel carcere di Padova, riuscì a fuggire qualche giorno prima della Liberazione del 25 aprile 1945.

Orrore e pietà sono i sentimenti e gli stati d’animo che fluiscono da questo monumento veronese, che racconta tutta quella “maestosa tristezza, fondamento della tragedia” (Jean Racine) che ci aiuta ad avvicinare e conoscere i terribili eventi di Cefalonia.