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HERO, Florence, Italy HERO, Florence, Italy HERO, Florence, Italy HERO, Florence, Italy

Public Art

in Public Art

HERO, Florence, Italy

HERO for Florence – Homage to David: Saracino interprets Michelangelo, Accademia Gallery, Florence – May 4, Sep 20, 2015



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Hero”, a public sculpture at Three Bryant Park, New York by acclaimed Italian architect and designer Antonio Pio Saracino, was commissioned in 2013 as a gift by the Italian government and Eni to symbolize friendship between Italy and the United States. “Hero”, inspired by Michelangelo’s “David” is one of two works Saracino designed as a pairing (the other work is entitled “Superhero”) known as “The Guardians: Hero and Superhero.” The project,on view indefinitely was organized by the Cultural Attachè of the Embassy of Italy Washington DC, Renato Miracco and New York based curator Helen Varola.



A new edition of Saracino’s “Hero,” will be on display at the Accademia Gallery, Florence during Expo Milano 2015, the global exhibition that Italy hosts from May 1 to October 31, 2015. “Hero,” addressing Michelangelo’s “David,” which has been selected to represent the Italian Pavilion at Expo Milano 2015 as an historic symbol of Italian excellence, is being promoted by the Accademia Gallery in Florence, the Italian Embassy in Washington DC and PMG Italia.


The new Italian edition of “Hero,” specially commissioned by New York-based Global Emerging Markets Group (GEM) and to be exhibited at the Accademia Gallery, Florence, will be larger than the Bryant Park ‘Hero’ – standing as tall as the original “David” 17ft / 5,2m. The 11,000 lb marble “Hero” will be created in Carrara, Italy with the same stone Michelangelo used to create “David.” “Hero” will be exhibited in the courtyard of the Accademia Gallery, Florence, just a few meters from Michelangelo’s “David” from May through September 2015. The Academia Gallery welcomes 1.3 million visitors per year (only second to the Vatican Museum).


Saracino states, “I never would have expected, two years later, to receive the great honor to see a new edition of “Hero” in the Accademia of Florence, in the same place as Michelangelo’s “David.” With the New York “Hero,” I wanted to create a symbolic protector of New York City, as “David” was intended as protector of Florence. The statue celebrates the superhuman and the inspiration that it channels. The anthropomorphic layered architectural constructions display the universal ability of mankind to cement its own presence in the world with its perennial construction skills.”


Ambassador of Italy to the United States, Claudio Bisogniero states: “David: such a strong symbol of Italian heritage, and now a Guardian of the friendship between our two countries. The year of Italian Culture in the US couldn’t have left a better legacy.”


Director of the Accademia Gallery, Florence, Angelo Tartuferi states “Antonio Pio Saracino has revived the matter of “David,” the white Carrara marble, for a modern reinterpretation of the sculpture, designed not for a museum or an art gallery, but for a public space in Manhattan, thus placing itself even in this respect on the trail of the original intention by Michelangelo. The best hope is that the “Hero” can represent, in the eyes of the men of our day, the same values of freedom, justice and civic pride realized by Florentines at the height of the Renaissance by Michelangelo’s “David.” The Accademia Gallery in Florence, along the Italian Embassy in Washington, is pleased to present the work of Antonio Pio Saracino, which qualifies as one of the most intelligent, modern and qualitatively most significant interpretations in terms of the execution of one of the highest signs of Western culture.”

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Cultural Attachè, Embassy of Italy Washington DC, Renato Miracco adds: “The iconographic value of Michelangelo’s “David” in all various interpretations throughout history becomes a symbol of multiple meanings. Antonio Pio Saracino’s “Hero” draws inspiration from the “David” and becomes symbol of friendship between two countries. The Embassy of Italy in DC has been promoting from long times those values.”

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Helen Varola, Curator, “The Guardians: Hero and Superhero”, New York states: “Saracino’s new edition of “Hero” nods to Michelangelo’s “David,” defender of the city of Florence as a contemporary civic champion who offers protection and surveillance, also suggests a long history of vulnerability spanning centuries, politics, and cultures.”