A mix of luxury and love has created the new Bridge of Love installation over the Arno River in Florence. Designed by Florentine Claudio Nardi Architects ‘symbolizing the desire to give hope to people living in severe hardship. The work stands as an element of public awareness on the refugee crisis and is part of the program of events of World Refugee Day 2016.’
Promoted by Luisa Via Roma fashion designer to coincide with the Pitti Uomo fashion week it has easily enticed International VIP’s and jetsetters to participate in a rather expensive Gala evening at €1000 donation per head for an Invite, followed by an encouragement to contribute on a regular basis to the United Nations Refugee Scheme.
‘Beauty that is ethereal but yet tangible, emotional and habitable, both to one’s body and one’s sight. White clouds lying down on the water surface, traversed by mist and profume, by the light from the very sunrise till sunset, by breeze and by sound’.(Claudio Nardi Architects)
Just stunning the way Italians can make tent-like constructions on plastic rafters sound so amazingly stylish and elegant!?
The opulent Gala evening of dining and ‘Underwater love’ entertainment will leave these white clouds then open to the public for the exhibition on the ‘interpretation of water as a symbol of destruction and renewal, hope and solidarity”.
The Bridge seen during the day appears less ethereal and romantic but as the sun sets it takes on a rather heavenly appearance afloat in the midst of a glittering Arno. And while the Gala evening oozed wealth and frivolity, some of that was gleaned off to help Refugees, so in the end it has been worthwhile. Besides local Florentines always protest fiercely when the Council rents out their public monuments – ie. Ponte Vecchio, Ponte Santa Trinita, Uffizi, Boboli Gardens for such events, so creating a new Bridge was a better alternative.
It’s in a favourite area of mine, near Clet’s studio and just below the Piazzale Michelango at the San Niccolò tower. One bridge down from the Ponte Vecchio.
And while the Arno River may appear innocuous today it certainly raged out of control on the 4th November 1966, engulfing Florence. So the Bridge of Love exhibition also incorporates the memories of the flood 50 years ago.