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N. 4 - September '11

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What is the current relationship between marble and modernity? In other words, can marble represent the symbolic values of our time and so embody the favor of current opinion? Or does it remain stubbornly characterized by and for its past, part of which can no longer be reconciled with the present? The question is not irrelevant in general and in particular it is certainly not irrelevant to someone who produces a publication like F Stone Magazine, aiming to be different from what already exists, if not actually original.
The answer becomes even more complex if you think of the new values that marble has acquired today.

In the interplay of contrasts it is easy to see that marble was heavy and has become lighter. A material typical of classical art is a creative interpreter of today's avant-garde. Yesterday it was an exclusive status symbol and today it has become a hallmark of popular taste.
So just how advisable is it to present marble today as the exact opposite of what it was yesterday, jeopardizing its established identity? Isn't it better to continue to present it in its traditional guise to be appreciated?

Alberto Abruzzese noted, in an insightful speech at the Fiera di Carrara (Carrara Trade Fair) a few years ago, that the terms used to describe the origin of marble have little to do with the mechanical and industrial vocabulary and a great deal to do with the more modern vocabulary of science (magma, sediments, pressures, metamorphosis). He emphasized, however, that there are still other values related to marble, all consecrated by history (the Sacred, the Beautiful, the Natural, the Authentic), and wondered in turn whether they would continue to benefit the idea of marble in the modern collective imagination.

But the pyramids, the Parthenon, the Roman Forum or the works of Michelangelo, Bernini and Canova, all emblems of the past for people today: didn't they affirm the value of modernity in the eyes of the contemporaries of those times?

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