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ART

Italian artist sculpts a Fiat 500 out of marble

A young Turin-based artist has spent months sculpting a life-size Fiat 500 car out of a 15-tonne block of white Carrara marble in a work he sees as a critique of today's consumerist, throw-away society.

Italian artist sculpts a Fiat 500 out of marble
Italian artist Nazareno Biondo poses on his ongoing sculpture made with Carrara's marble representing the iconic car Fiat 500. Photo: MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP
Armed with his circular saw and a face mask to keep away the dust, Nazareno Biondo began work on the piece last year, slowly and meticulously hewing out of stone a copy of the iconic “Topolino”, the original small two-door rear-engined city car that still symbolises, 60 years after its launch, Italy's post-war economic boom. 
 
“It's my biggest work so far,” the thirty-something sculptor told AFP in his atelier on the outskirts of Turin, a city which is also home to the famous car brand. 
 
Biondo, who graduated from Turin's Albertina Academy of Fine Arts, specialises in working in marble, and has already carved gold ingots, bundles of dollars and even a Vespa motor scooter out of the white stone. 
 

Photo: MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP
 
But far from being a symbol of the “Dolce vita”, his “Cinquecento” will be an evocation “of a bygone era, where the future of my generation could still be decided,” he said. 
 
Once it is completed, probably in a few months, the work will look like a car ready for the scrapyard, “because my pieces are a reflection of consumerism, of the waste of contemporary society,” he said. 
 

Photo: MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP

TOURISM

The new guide to Florence’s Uffizi Galleries – showing only the nudes

There are lots of guides to the visual splendours of Florence's world-famous galleries - but for those with a short attention span comes a new one, showing only nude or erotic artworks.

The new guide to Florence's Uffizi Galleries - showing only the nudes
Sandro Botticelli's "The Birth of Venus" is the most famous work included in a controversial new guide to the Uffizi Galleries. Photo: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP

The online guide to the gallieries is produced by the porn website Pornhub and provide a list of the best erotic artworks in each museum, plus directions of how to get there – so you don’t need to waste your time looking at paintings of people in clothes.

Part of the site’s Classic Nudes series of ‘erotic’ guides to some of the world’s most renowned museums, the guide for the Uffizi lists 21 artworks, together with a tongue-in-cheek commentary, and the location of each piece within the galleries.

“The Uffizi Gallery is located in the birthplace of the Renaissance: Florence, Italy. So it’s no wonder it has such a large collection of artwork from the era. But what you may find surprising is the sheer volume and variety of naked bodies rendered in paint, bronze and marble in this marvelous museum,” writes Pornhub.

Among the works featured are Botticelli’s Birth of Venus (1485) and the Roman statue of the Knidian Aphrodite, dating from the 1st Century.

The guide also includes the Venus of Urbino by Titian (1538), which it calls “kinky”, and Painting and Poetry by Francesco Furini (1626), which is described as featuring “two ridiculously hot babes who just so happen to be making out”.

Titian’s “Venus of Urbino”. Photo: Giuseppe Cacace/AFP

Bosses at the Uffizi were not amused at the gallery’s inclusion in Pornhub’s series and have threatened to sue.

Meanwhile in Paris, the Louvre’s management has said only that it is ‘dismayed’, while the Musée d’Orsay remained silent on the subject.

As is hopefully clear, the Pornhub guides are explicit in nature and not suitable for children.

The Uffizi does, however, provide a great day out for all the family and contains a lot of fully-clothed artwork too. At present it is operating with reduced visitor numbers due to health rules, so advance booking to recommended.

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