“Venus of the Rags,” one of the most famous works by Italian contemporary artist Michelangelo Pistoletto, has been destroyed by an overnight fire in Naples.
The sculpture, of which several versions exist in museums around the world, had only been inaugurated on June 27 th in Piazza del Municipio, a square in Naples that houses the town hall.
Naples Mayor Gaetano Manfredi said the fire in the early hours of Wednesday was “an act of great violence which leaves us speech-less,” he promised the installation would be rebuilt.
Pistoletto was “embittered and hurt” by the “vandalism,” Manfredi said, but keen that the fire be “interpreted by us as a fresh start.”
The “Venus of the Rags,” a symbol of Arte Povera movement of which Pistoletto is a member, represents a statue of the Roman goddess of love, beauty, and fertility standing next to a pile of rags.
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