Silvio Benedetto, Olga Macaluso and Silvia Di Blasi 
are carrying out the murals for the former railway stations... 


VERNAZZA -Along with vine and underwater trails, the Cinque Terre
will also have art trails, The Cinque Terre National Park's artistic-plastic
project in the stations "took off" in July this year with the public presentation of the mural entitled, "Nex-voto" (the Fisherman between
the Madonna and the Maimuna).This is one of the artistic interventions
undertaken in the station of Vernazza by Silvio Benedetto (considered by art critics as the last great mural artist), with the collaboration of Olga Macaluso and Silvia Di Blasi.

The mural which has just been completed responds to the artist's idea of wanting to take account of universal and local values. The project wishes to add a path that constitutes an artistic link among the Cinque Terre to the pre-existing sea and mountain paths.

"The art trail", Olga Macaluso and Silvia Di Blasi explain, "will have murals as well as sculptures and decorative pictorial elements. The unitary concept of all the elements in the five stations will offer multiple
perceptions for the enjoyment of those waiting in the station as well as those passing by train, and in some cases (for example Manarola) those who sail by or walk along the Via dell'Amore path".

After Vernazza, Silvio Benedetto, Olga Macaluso and Silvia Di Blasi have started working on the mural entitled, "Dry-stone walls and harvest" in Riomaggiore station.

"In Vernazza's mural sacred elements and fables dominate", explains Benedetto, "and among the popular fables told among fishermen is the witch Maimuna, who lives in a cave in which you can stile today hear strange voices and noises. She used to come out of the sea to shipwreck fishermen. There are many offerings to protect fishermen from the Madonna. I did a large offering in which the Witch (Evil). Good (Light, the Madonna) are presented. but man, guiding the boat, has to decide by himself. This is free will.
In Riomaggiore there is a large mountain containment wall and I wish to pay a tribute to those who built the terraces. It is a metaphor of man, who, if he does not put stone upon stone, will see his soul and his world collapse". How big are these murals? In Vernazza. the mural above the tunnel is 3.5xl0m. The one in Riomaggiore has due panels of 5x8m each. After the murals the three artists will take on a second challenge, also commissioned by the Cinque Terre
National Park in agreement with the municipality of Monterosso: the restoration of the Giant, the large statute of Neptune, created by Arrigo Minerbi at the beginning of the

1900s that has been the symbol of Fegina for many years. Here, work is totally different and it is no coincidence that Silvio Benedetto. Olga Macaluso and Silvia Di Blasi have called on one of Italy's foremost restorers, Felice Remolo, known all over world for having collaborated in Rome with the Vatican Museums and in Florence with the Uffizi, to collaborate with them. First, Benedetto and his collaborators will have to evaluate the conditions of the cement in the large statue as well as the iron framework. The rocks in front of it will also have to be evaluated - underlines Olga Macaluso - always respecting the original work even when tackling consolidation and restoring missing fragments. On this basis, an exhaustive technical, artistic-historical report was presented. An intense and creative job awaits Silvio Benedetto and the "Mural Group" on these "Art Trails" that unite the five villages of the Cinque Terre.

"LA VOCE DEL PARCO" Special Edition 2.002
Periodico di informazione del Parco Nazionale delle Cinque Terre