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Italy’s Incredible Transparent Church Posted by on Apr 26, 2016 in Art, News

A few days ago, a friend pointed me in the direction of an article about an extraordinary new structure in Puglia, and I immediately decided to share it with you dear readers. Built on the ruins of a 12th century basilica, this fantastical work of modern art helps visitors to visualize the true grandeur of the original structure.

The following is an extract from the Italian on-line journal Il Post of the 21st April, with my translation:

Nel Dodicesimo secolo a Siponto – una frazione di Manfredonia, in Puglia – fu costruita una chiesa romanica, la basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore di Siponto.

In the 12th century, a Romanesque church was constructed at Siponto, a hamlet of Manfredonia in Puglia: la basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore di Siponto.

La Basilica di Siponto fu consacrata per la prima volta nel 1117.

La Basilica di Siponto fu consacrata per la prima volta nel 1117.

Di quella chiesa restano oggi praticamente solo le fondamenta, che sono vicine a una più recente chiesa medioevale.

Today, only the foundations of the church remain near a more recent medieval church.

Da qualche settimana Edoardo Tresoldi, artista di 28 anni, ha però terminato a Siponto il progetto “Dove l’arte ricostruisce il tempo”.

A few weeks ago, 28 year old artist Edoardo Tresoldi brought the project “Where Art Reconstructs Time” to a close.

Siponte Basilicata (3)

Insieme a un gruppo di persone – età media 25 anni – Tresoldi ha ricostruito la struttura della basilica di Siponto utilizzando 4.500 metri di rete elettrosaldata zincata: rete metallica, per capirci.

Together with a group of people – average age 25 – Tresoldi has reconstructed the structure of the basilica of Siponto using 4,500 metres of electro-welded zinc netting: metal netting, to clarify.

Siponte Basilicata (5)

La basilica di rete metallica è alta 14 metri e pesa in tutto circa sette tonnellate. È una struttura permanente: per realizzarla ci sono voluti circa cinque mesi e il progetto, commissionato dal ministero del Turismo, è costato 900mila euro.

The metal netting basilica is 14 metres high and weighs around seven tons in total. It’s a permanent structure: it took about 5 months to build, and the project, which was commissioned by the ministry of tourism, cost 900 thousand Euros.

Siponte Basilicata (7)

Wow, 900,000 Euros, did I read that right? That seems like a small fortune for a country that, financially speaking, is virtually on its knees! However, as you can see from the photos and the video, it certainly is an exceptional creation.

Siponte Basilicata (6)-001

What do you think, would you visit it if you had the chance?

A presto …..

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  1. chris:

    Great blog. As a beginner I’m really enjoying it. A point of information, if I may – the Romanic style is called Romanesque in English, a very particular form, which by the look of the church, it is.

    • Geoff:

      @chris Grazie Chris, the problem with having lived in Italy for so long is that I’ve lost a lot of English vocabulary. And just think … I’ve got an honours degree in Education and Art …. boh, figurati!

      Saluti da Geoff

      P.S. I’ve now corrected it in the blog, I’ll remember next time for sure! 🙂

  2. Catherine Stock:

    I would visit it.

  3. paul Minotto:

    Incredibile. Volentieri io visiterei.

  4. Allan Mahnke:

    Many thanks! It is breath-taking. We discovered more pictures on Tresoldi’s Facebook page, and he includes a link to the video from La Repubblica.

  5. Jill T Payne:

    Yes, I would visit. It seems an interesting structure in terms of something that was impt in the past, but is no longer. It points to the fragility of past history, but at the same time it is not a ruin! So much of italy is crumbling and perhaps the money could have brought another site to the present, but it is a definite work of art and a statement about the past.

  6. Maria:

    That is so cool! I would definitely visit it!

  7. Gert Schwaner:

    Italia oggi è in ginocchio, sí, ma ha cosi tanto di cui menare vanto!

  8. Frances Maitland:

    Thank you for this interesting story. I’m visiting Puglua in July and now adding this to the list of sights to visit. I can’t wait!
    I’ll be writing about my visit on my blog

    • Geoff:

      @Frances Maitland I look forward to hearing about your visit to Siponto Frances.

      Alla prossima, Geoff 🙂

  9. Connie Rinaldi:

    Incredibile! E` come un vero spettro del passato. Certo, la visitero` se abbia l’opportunità, io. Gracie per il blog. Geoff, non importa che Lei ha dimenticato la parola Romanesque. Sono americana, io, e abito in gli U.S. e mi ho dimenticato molte parole in inglese solamente perché sono vecchia. Comunque, e` soltanto una parola francese e perciò non importa dimenticarla. 😀
    (Okay I didn’t mean it…just couldn’t stop myself. Mala me.)

    • Geoff:

      @Connie Rinaldi Ahhh, la vecchiaia. Io dico a Serena che sarà normale che gli occhi non ci funzionano più bene quando diventiamo ‘grandi’, perché così, quando mi guardo nello specchio, non vedo uno un po’ rovinato di 58 anni, ma uno ‘sfocato’, che avrà magari 21 anni, bello, prestante, senza rughe e con ancora un po’ di peli sulla testa! 😉

  10. Sue:

    Thanks for your article. I would visit this amazing folly too!
    The last post by Gert I don’t understand the meaning of “ma ha cosi tanto di cui menare vanto!”….is this an idiomatic expression? it does not seem to make sense.

    • Serena:

      @Sue Salve Sue!
      Sì, ‘menare vanto’ è un’espressione idiomatica e significa ‘vantarsi’ = to boast.
      Saluti da Serena

  11. Mark Putnam:

    Another treasure in Puglia. Honestly, Manfredonia is a wasteland of industrial refineries. This gives me a reason to return.

  12. Grant:

    Some friends took us to see this basilica a few weeks ago. On holiday from Australia we had not heard of it but our friends insisted we visit. We came at around sunset which seemed to make the detail of the wire framework stand out. Truly amazing, very moving and well worth the effort to get there.

    • Geoff:

      @Grant Now I’m jealous! Siponto is a long way from our home in Lunigiana, but not quite as far as Australia!

      Grazie per il tuo commento, saluti da Geoff 🙂

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