In January 1968 a catastrophic earthquake destroyed the little town of Gibellina, in the mountains of central Sicily. The town decided to abandon the place and built a new city in a location some 20 kms away. Between 1985 and 1989, the artist Alberto Burri used the old city’s ruins as the canvas for his most audacious work: Burri covered the ruins of Old Gibellina with concrete while preserving the shape of the buildings and the streetscape; block after block of concrete rises from the ground, like ghosts of the houses. They’re high enough to peer over so that the rest of the graves are always visible, along with the valley in the background.
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