If you are thinking of departing on an Europe tour, you must know that Europe is famous for its rich art history. The rich culture, literature, art and diversity will truly make the tour worthwhile. But apart from the usual art museums you will be visiting, here is a list of 7 powerful sculptures to add to your list of things to see!
King Decebalus, Romania
The Statue of King Decebalus sits in Dubova, in the Banat region of Romania, overlooking the Danube River and is the tallest stone sculpture in Europe. Commissioned by Romanian businessman Iosif Constantin Drăgan, it took 10 years for twelve sculptors to complete this ginormous rock sculpture of Decebalus, the last king of Dacia, who fought against Roman emperors Domitian and Trajan to preserve the independence of his country, which corresponds to present-day Romania. The Latin inscription reads “DECEBALUS REX—DRAGAN FECIT” or “King Decebalus—Made by Drăgan”.
The Anonymous Pedestrians, Poland
The bronze monument was crafted by Jerzy Kalina and is called Przejście, translating to “Passage” or “Transition”- also known in English as the Monument of the Anonymous Passersby or the Anonymous Pedestrians. It depicts a group of 14 people, 7 on each side of the road, sinking into the ground and reemerging on the other side. It was unveiled on December 2005 to coincide with the 24th anniversary of the imposition of martial law in Poland. The law drove people underground and many were arrested in the middle of the night, a number of whom were never seen again. The pedestrians rising out of the sidewalk on the other side of the street is believed to represent the re-emergence of the citizens when the law was lifted in 1983.
Aeolus – Acoustic Wind Pavilion, Bristol
Named after Aeolus, the ruler of the four winds in Greek mythology, this art structure is a giant aeolian harp, a stringed musical instrument which is designed to resonate and sing with the wind without any electrical power or amplification. The sculpture relies solely on the wind to create its music. The futuristic sounds produced by the massive aeolian harp are generated entirely from the 310 internally polished, stainless-steel tubes and clear strings resonating with the wind. Aeolus has now been installed permanently at Airbus, a leading aircraft manufacturer, at their facilities in Filton, Bristol.
Monument to the Unknown Bureaucrat, Iceland
If you ever happen to visit the capital of Iceland, Reykjavik, then try not to miss this monument dedicated to the “faceless” civil servants of the country. Sculpted by Magnús Tómasson in 1994, is the statue of a man holding a briefcase, walking towards the city hall. In place of the head and torso sits a large slab of Icelandic volcanic basalt, making the man, literally, faceless.
One of the largest sculptures in the world, Maman depicts a 30-foot, ferocious and sweet spider carrying its little eggs, made from bronze, stainless steel, and marble. “Maman” , the French word for mother, is Louise Bourgeois’ dedication to her mother and thus reflects maternal motifs. The sculpture was made in 1999 for the Unilever Series in the Turbine Hall in the Tate Modern; and has since been reproduced all over the world.
Les Voyageurs, France
French artist Bruno Catalano created a series of 10 eye-catching, life-size bronze sculptures called “Les Voyageurs” in Marseilles. The sculptures were unveiled to commemorate Marseille’s position as the European Capital of Culture in 2013. These statues seem anti-gravity, depicting people, with large parts of their bodies missing, holding on to a bag. The art conveys themes of travel, journey and melancholy. Catalano once lamented that every time he travelled, it left him feeling as if a part of him was gone and would never come back – a feeling reflected in the statues.
Shoes on the Danube Bank, Budapest
The Shoes on the Danube Bank is a memorial monument honoring the Hungarian Jews who had to leave their shoes on the bank of the river before they were shot during the Holocaust in Hungary, during World War II. The idea was conceived by film director Can Togay and created by sculptor Gyula Pauer. These people were asked to take off their shoes before they were shot and thrown into the river. Thus, 60 pairs of iron shoes, pointed towards the river, represent the people who were lost in the tragic incident. The sculpture is situated on the Pest side of the Danube Promenade.
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