A monumental white Cretto, begun in 1985, covers a hillside in the remote of western Sicily, it is both Land art – a vast monochrome embedded in the landscape – and a memorial to the town of Gibellina that was devastated by an earthquake in January 1968. Hundreds of people died in villages along the Belice Valley and tens of thousands were left homeless. After living in temporary shelters for almost a decade, the surviving residents of Gibellina resettled in Gibellina Nuova, several miles away. Invited to make an artwork for the new town, Burri instead envisioned an architectural sculpture that would cover the ruins and represent both the seismic disaster and the destroyed urban plan. Crumbled masonry was compacted within retaining walls and covered in an enormous shroud of white cement. The fissures of the resulting Cretto function as pathways that wind through an area of roughly 20 acres. Construction ceased in 1989 but was restarted in 2014 in order to build the last section of Burri’s original design.
- Petra Noordkamp
- 15 minutes
Awards and festivals:
Architecture Film Festival Rotterdam 2017 / Arquiteturas Film Festival 2017