The foundation of the town Tuoro dates back to the late Middle Ages – yet it was already famous before it was even built.
Because in one way or another it came into being where an unusual page of history was written: the site of the bloody battle between the Carthaginians and the Romans during the second Punic war.
Yet, until the closing decades of last century, there was no particular interest in dusting off such an exceptional event. The few physical traces included a truncated pyramid monument erected in 1920, with a headstone comparing the ancient debacle with the defeat at Caporetto during WWI and then redemption at Zama.
It was only towards the very end of the 1900s that there was a full-scale rediscovery of a remote past imbued with legend. Increasingly numerous meetings and conventions were held involving internationally famous historians. A permanent documentation centre was set up with a scientific and informative purpose.
A full bibliography of the topic was collected and at the same time the main episodes of the epic battle were reproduced on graphic panels. An archaeological route was set up which, through a series of stops in equipped areas, outlines the nerve centres of the battle to visitors.
Against this background, as the 22nd centenary of the dramatic event drew closer, a particularly ambitious dream also began to take shape. The Local Council recuperated a public park at Punta Navaccia, on the lakeside that in summer becomes a kind of resort, with the idea of setting up a monumental “Memorial”.
The artistic direction of the project was entrusted to Enrico Crispoldi, while effective design involved Pietro Cascella, Cordelia Von den Steiner and Mauro Berrettini.
The idea was to raise a series of sculpted columns and 28 artists agreed to take part, mostly Italian but also from other countries: Japan, Germany, England, Peru and Senegal.
The chosen material was local Pietra Serena, quarried near La Croce and the area around Sant’Agata. The models were processed in the workshop of brothers Giulio and Mauro Borgia. The first batch of 9 works was completed in 1985, while the last were completed in 1989.
In the end, a huge spiral tail having a diameter of almost 50 metres came into being. The vertical streamlining of the processed drums seems to evoke proto-historic megaliths such as those at Stonehenge. A paved track in the grass marks the way, which nevertheless branches out continuously to create the impression of a maze. The final approach towards which the possible trajectories lead centripetally is made up of Pietro Cascella’s circular table.
Around it, small cubes encourage access to this modern “table round”. On a raised part, on the other hand, there is a modelled element that clearly alludes to the cosmos. The installation was solemnly named “Field of Sun”, effectively moving away from the original intentions of creating a place of mourning and recollection and thereby expand the sense of its being from the historic ridge to a more everyday world, a kind of invitation for familiar communication and peaceful meeting.
by Lorenzo Iseppi- L’Informatore del Marmista – Translation by Peter Eustace