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Angel Orensanz Builds Memorial for the Victims of the Messina Earthquake in 1908.
The University of Messina and the City of Messina in Sicily have invited sculptor Angel Orensanz to create an art piece to memorialize the deadliest earthquakes in European history in 1908.
By: Angel Orensanz Foundation
Angel Orensanz memorializes the Messina Earthquake of 1908.
The University of Messina and the City of Messina in Sicily have invited sculptor Angel Orensanz to create an art piece to memorialize the deadliest earthquakes in European history. This December 28 will the 100th anniversary of the total destruction of Messina and its surrounding region in 1908. Close to 200,000 people perished. The Applied Geophysics for Engineering Conference (AGEI) and the Osservatorio Sismologico of the University of Messina are celebrating this weekend a major congress on the matter. Angel Orensanz has been invited to contribute a memorial to that devastating event.
Angel Orensanz has been commissioned to create a sculpture that can carry the memory of a tragedy ingrained in the mind of many generations. The result is a large relief titled “Women screaming, Women crying” that from this moment on will occupy the central wall of the aula magna of the Messina Observatory. This building will soon become a museum, of which this wall work of American/Spanish sculptor Orensanz is its first acquisition. The work has been built by Orensanz using different color wax sediments that harden as the time goes on until become solid as stone. In a way it reproduces the fate of two hundreds thousand human lives made into solid dust under the effect of the geological cataclysm. The impact of that earthquake (7.50 in today’s Richter scale) reached as far as Washington, DC. The tragedy was compounded with a transatlantic voyage in which 850 victims sailed in 1909 from Naples to New York colliding midway before being rescued and brought alive to Manhattan.
Angel Orensanz has developed over the years a special rapport with Sicily. His recent exhibitions in Palermo (March 2008) and Gibellina (June 2008) are still fresh in the memory of thousands of visitors who attended his retrospective at La Cuba Castle in the center of Palermo, sponsored by Fondazione Palazo Intelligente and curated by Professor Achille Bonito Oliva; and later shown at Fondazione Orestiadi in Gibellina, one of the most prestigious European contemporary arts center, curated as well by Professor Bonito Oliva. Another of his contributions to Sicily is his “Roots of the Mediterranean”
ANGEL ORENSANZ FOUNDATION, INC
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The Angel Orensanz Foundation for the Arts was established in 1992 by a group of artists who were inspired by the work of sculptor Angel Orensanz.
In a short period of time it has affirmed itself as a strong anchor of the visual and performing arts in New York.
Well-established institutions such as the PS I Museum; The Goethe Institute, New York; the Italian Cultural Institute; New York University; Columbia University; Princeton University and the National Russian Museum of St. Petersburg, as well as independent artists from all over the world develop here educational and artistic projects.
Over the years the Foundation has been able to forge strong alliances with the music, movie, and fashion industries of the US, Germany, England, and Latin America.