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Events and news THE VENICE BIENNALE: MANETTI GOLD LEAF FOR JAMES LEE BYARS’S GOLDEN TOWER

THE VENICE BIENNALE: MANETTI GOLD LEAF FOR JAMES LEE BYARS’S GOLDEN TOWER

35,000 gold leaves are lighting up the Grand Canal thanks to the spectacular temporary installation in honour of a great artist with a profound love for Venice

Venice, May 2017 – In order to mark the 57th edition of the Venice Art Biennale, from May 13 to November 26, the stretch of the Grand Canal between the Accademia Gallery and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection will be gold tinted: 35,500 sheets of 24kt gold leaf by Giusto Manetti Battiloro were used to cover the monumental installation entitled “The Golden Tower”, a reproduction of a similar sculpture by James Lee Byars on display in Berlin.

The golden obelisk, which is over 20 metres tall and is entirely covered with 710 grams of pure gold leaf, is a brilliant symbol of the extraordinary bond between the artist and Venice, the city where he lived and worked at length, and where he exhibited for four times at the Biennale.

“The splendour of this tower is reminiscent of the symbolism of the sun, and takes on a connotation of inner enlightenment, intellectual knowledge, and spiritual experience,” explains curator Alberto Salvadori.

The tower’s brilliant golden surface also reflects the splendour of the mosaics on the adjacent Palazzo Barbarigo.