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Alberto Burri’s Grande Cretto finally completed after 30 years

The massive Land Art project is a memorial to the Sicilian town of Gibellina, ruined by a 1968 earthquake

by Helen Stoilas  |  16 October 2015
Alberto Burri’s Grande Cretto finally completed after 30 years
Alberto Burri's Grande Cretto in Gibellina
After 30 years of planning, Alberto Burri’s finally completed Land Art work Grande Cretto will open in Sicily on Saturday, 17 October. The 8,000 sq. m concrete piece, first conceived by the artist in 1985, serves as a memorial to the town of Gibellina, which was completed destroyed by an earthquake in 1968.

The residents were eventually rehoused in the purpose-built New Gibellina about 20km away. When leading artists and architects were invited to contribute to the new town’s foundation in the 1980s, Burri decided to focus on the ruins of the abandoned old town, which he covered entirely in white concrete slabs separated by his signature deep cracks or furrows that follow the original street plan. The artist started working on the piece in 1985 but stopped just four years later, with just 6,000 sq. m finished, instead of the planned 8,000.

To celebrate the project’s completion, the city of Gibellina will host a series of events, including the first edition of “Cretto Earth Fest”. For this, the British artist and musician Robert Del Naja, of the band Massive Attack, and the Italian artist Giancarlo Neri have created AUDIOGHOST 68, a light and sound installation that will involve hundreds of portable radios scattered on the work’s surface and the active participation of the audience, who will become “a thousand white fireflies moving and dancing in the night between the ‘veins’ of Cretto in all directions”. The piece is supported by the multinational energy giant E.ON.

The British artist and musician Robert Del Naja, of the band Massive Attack, and the Italian artist Giancarlo Neri have created the a light and sound installation AUDIOGHOST 68

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