Vandals in Naples MILAN (AP) — Vandals set fire to and destroyed a seminal work of art by one of Italy’s most famous living artists outside Naples City Hall early Wednesday.
When the flames were extinguished, all that remained of Michelangelo Pistoletto’s installation was a charred frame. Pistoletto’s artwork, titled “Venus the Rags,” has been on display in Naples since June 28.
It featured a large neoclassical nude plaster Venus, inspired by 19th-century Danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen’s ‘Venus with an Apple’, rummaging through a mountain of rags.
Pistoletto has done several versions of Venus of the Rags. First introduced in 1967, a concrete or cement Venus purchased from a garden center was covered in mica to create a glittering finish. Others used plaster casts of this statue, and one was made of Greek marble inlaid with mica, according to the Tate Gallery, which owns one of the pieces.
Pistoletto told the Corriere della Sera newspaper that the reasons for the attack could be multiple.
“It’s a work that calls for regeneration, about the need to find balance and harmony between two spirits, represented on the one hand by beauty and on the other by consummate consumerism, a catastrophe,” said the 90-year-old. said the old artist.
He added: “The world is going up in flames anyway. The same spirits that make war are also those that set Venus on fire. “
Pistoltto is a painter, object artist, and art theorist, and one of the main protagonists of the Italian Arte Povera movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s, in which artists attacked the political, industrial, and cultural establishment.