Pia Almoina (Diocesan Museum)

10.11.1998 – 17.01.1999
Barcelona

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The proposal for this exhibition was accepted and inaugurated by the director of the Diocesan Museum, Pia Almoina, Mn Josep Maria Bonet and sponsored by the company Airtel (Vodaphone).

The exhibition was held on the top floor, called “The Room of the Virgins,” where 12 unique marble sculptures carved to represent the Virgin Mary, dating from the period between the 8th and 13th centuries, were on display.

Guido Dettoni della Grazia‘s vision was to draw lines of dialogue between the ancient forms and the new Icon. He accomplished this by placing square containers of reddish concrete on the ground, filled with earth from the mountain of Montserrat. From these bases rose 33 glass cylinders.

A fragrance, composed with aromas of plants from the island of Majorca was diffused in the room, felt from the entrance, announcing this new presence at the museum..

The public was openly invited by a written sign to touch the resin copies of the new Icon placed at their disposal, while they could not touch the marble ones. Although it said PLEASE TOUCH, many people read PLEASE DO NOT TOUCH and did not do so. This shows how entrenched the culture that avoids touch was twenty years ago and perhaps still is today.

At the opening, singer Dunia Hedreville gave voice to the sculpture, thus beginning an interaction that was repeated in the future.

In those days in Barcelona, the reaction of the media and more than ten thousand visitors was a surprise in revealing how much this image reached everyone. This was evidenced by later requests to move the exhibition to other venues.

This exhibition was just an art show in a diocesan museum to present this multifaceted Icon, not intended for sale. The public’s incredible insistence on having one of these icons forever led Guido Dettoni della Grazia to authorize the organization representing his works and projects (NESHER EDITIONS SL) to accept future purchases at exhibitions or online.