MILAN, July 12 (AP) — Vandals set fire to a groundbreaking artwork by one of Italy’s most famous contemporary artists outside Naples City Hall early Wednesday.
When the flames were extinguished, only a charred frame remained of Michelangelo Pistoletto’s installation.
Pistoletto’s “Ragged Venus” has been on display in Naples since June 28th.
It features a large plaster neoclassical nude Venus, inspired by Danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen’s 19th-century Venus with Apples, picked up in a mountain of ruins.
Pistoletto made several versions of “Ragged Venus”. The first was in 1967, and concrete or cement Venus were purchased at garden centers and covered with mica to create a shimmering surface.
Others used plaster casts of the statue, including one made of Greek marble containing mica, according to the Tate Britain, which owns one of the works.
Pistoletto told Corriere de Corriere that there could be many reasons for the attack.
The 90-year-old said: “This is a work that calls for revival, emphasizing the need to find balance and harmony between two ideas that appear beautiful on the one hand and perfect on the other. Consumerism, it’s a disaster,” said the artist.
He added: “Anyway, the world is burning. The same spirits that started the war also set Venus ablaze.”
Pistoletto was a painter, object artist and art theorist who was one of the main exponents of the Italian Arte Povera movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s, through which artists attacked political, industrial and cultural institutions. (Associated Press)
(This is an unedited and auto-generated story from a syndicated news feed, the latest staff may not have revised or edited the body of content)