Obelisco “Cassodoro“

35°30'09.2'' N 12°36'33.1'' E

Obelisco “Cassodoro“

35°30'09.2'' N 12°36'33.1'' E

I wanted to put in the obelisk

a presence of stones and ropes of sailors, risks and waste of the sea, the extreme experience of fishermen

Arnaldo Pomodoro

In Piazza Libertà, in the heart of the inhabited centre of Lampedusa, in front of the town hall, since 1988 stands the obelisk created by the great Italian artist Arnaldo Pomodoro. The work, called Cassodoro, is a tribute to the fallen of all wars. Made of bronze, five meters high and 90 centimeters wide, it is placed on a assemblage of boulders.

The colour of the bronze has something precious about it; the clarity and limpidity of so many written pages, a document and a memory, is multiplied on the four sides, and tells, with engraved and raised signs, of stories, of works, of prayers. Arnaldo Pomodoro’s obelisk invites to the highest consideration of the past, to celebrate a sort of totem of humanism created by the men and women of today for the men and women of tomorrow. And it does not celebrate, as in other monuments, the ‘sacrifice’ of war victims for the greatness of the homeland but recalls the pain that every war brings to the communities that – yesterday as today – are affected by it. War victims are people and memories, and Cassodoro reminds everyone that every war demands a price of blood and renunciation, perhaps to the land of origin. Even today, in Lampedusa, those who flee from war, understood in the contemporary sense of conflict, a global one, find salvation. They flee from fighting and persecution, but also from the impossibility of imagining a future, due to climate change or poverty and hunger. We are all victims of war, after all, sometimes even just that war against the difficulties of life.

That’s why the great master wanted to pay homage to the fishermen, to their hard, dangerous life, who not by chance are the witnesses of that ‘culture of the sea’ that doesn’t ask those in difficulty in the middle of the sea for permits and papers, but saves, first of all saves. Because we are all fishermen, among the waves and in the struggle to live with dignity.

Podcast: History of Lampedusa - 4^ episode

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