New Patrons

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The New Patrons
of Genk, Belgium

Genk column

Patrons: City Council of Genk,

Mediators: Thérèse Legierse,

Artists: Luciano Fabro,

Cooperation Partners and Sponsors: City of Genk,

Duration: - – 2008

Genk doesn't have a real historical centre, due to its history. The people living here construct their identity in the neighbourhood they live in, were born and raised. But on certain occasions, when they have something to celebrate, the people gather at the city square to share the joy: Mardi Gras, a football tournament, the local market, etc. This city square is the symbolic heart of the city, and so it deserved an artwork, which was commissioned by the city of Genk at Luciano Fabro. In Genk, Fabro concentrated on the history of mining in this area; a collective memory that is still very much present here. You can sense it in the social structures in this city, and so it becomes a contemporary story, a creative force that has made Genk what it is and is still doing so. The sculpture is a 5- 6 metres Doric pillar of white marble, incorporated with a big black rock in the middle. This work is an allusion to the glory of the mines and the economic prosperity they brought, but the black stone literally alludes to the blackness of the mines. The work also reminds him of all the Italians who went to work in Belgium, covered in black dust. This sculpture should impersonate the power of the people to incorporate the past into the future and in doing so, to build on a future in a stronger way. The new, mixed population is the base, the cornerstone of society and the fundament of civilisation. By using a Doric pillar, the history of Genk is connected to the ancient. But it also contrasts with the houses standing next to it.

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