The Largest Outdoor Sculpture Museum in Europe — and How You Can Help to Save It

Do you know where the largest outdoor sculpture museum in Europe is located? Did you know that it contains some of the finest examples of marble carving of the mid-19th century to the mid-20th century? Did you know that many of these works are in dire need of restoration?

The Largest Outdoor Sculpture Museum in Europe — and How You Can Help to Save It

Not many people know about the Monumental Cemetery of Staglieno in Genoa, as tourists rarely visit this treasure hidden in plain sight in Italy. This cemetery is so large that bus service is provided within the 80 acres of the cemetery to visit the greater than 117,000 grave sites and greater than 700 monumental sculptures, which are housed in arcades and niches in the network of two-story and three-story tall covered galleries.

Domenico and Giovanni Maino Tomb, 1880

Before and after the restoration of the Domenico and Giovanni Maino Tomb, 1880. Click on the image to view its source. Source: American Friends of Italian Monumental Sculpture. Used with permission.

“To date we have restored 12 sculptures, with two more underway and one planned for January 2018”, according to the official Internet web site of the American Friends of Italian Monumental Sculpture, which is a United States based not-for-profit 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt organization working with the city of Genoa and the provincial office of Belle Arte (fine arts) to help preserve these irreplacable works of art. “However, there is much more to do; please give whatever you can this season to save more wonderful artworks in the coming year. Any amount will help!”

Please click here to access the official Facebook Internet web site of the American Friends of Italian Monumental Sculpture for additional photographs and information.

Debarbieri Memorial

Debarbieri Memorial. Click on the image to view its source. Source: American Friends of Italian Monumental Sculpture. Used with permission.

The city of Genoa does maintain the Monumental Cemetery of Staglieno as an active cemetery; but it simply has not had the resources — nor the inclination — to maintain it as an art museum until the past two years. As a result, the galleries and sculptures have suffered greatly from neglect over the past hundred years.

As of the time this article was written, $9,970.00 has been raised by 63 donors, who are seeking to meet a goal of $20,000.00.

“If these works were in regular museums, they would get a huge amount of attention,” Walter S. Arnold — who is an experienced stone carver — said to me earlier today, “but in a cemetery where they are neglected and not maintained, they get ignored. We’re trying to bring attention back; and we’re working with the city to upgrade everything.”

He is actually considering organizing a group tour to Genoa sometime in the future to call attention and bring about awareness to the need to restore these works of art.

Summary

With few exceptions, the Monumental Cemetery of Staglieno is open from 7:30 in the morning to 4:30 in the afternoon local time seven days per week.

Monumental Cemetery of Staglieno
Piazzale Resasco
16100 Genova
Italy

Telephone +39 010 5576400
Telephone and Fax: +39 010 5578049

E-mail: servcivici@comune.genova.it

I have known Walter S. Arnold for years and first met him through FlyerTalk. Trained in Italy, he is a talented stone carver whose works have been commissioned throughout the United States and Canada by such clients as The White House, The United States Capitol Building, Chicago Tribune Tower, Washington National Cathedral, and the Chicago Board of Trade — as well as numerous universities, colleges, residences, parks, private collections, and places of worship. You can find out more about Walter and his work at his official Internet web site.

He even created a small personalized work of art hand carved from stone for Kevin Pinto, who was a former employee of Delta Air Lines and a member of FlyerTalk himself. Sadly, Kevin Pinto died approximately three years later. We were all thankful to have celebrated Kevin Pinto in person — including a special surprise appearance from Randy Petersen, who was a friend of Kevin for a long time — and Kevin was touched when he was presented with the sculpture by Walter S. Arnold himself.

I am guilty of being one of the many people who has not yet visited the Monumental Cemetery of Staglieno — the obvious reason is because even though I have been to Italy several times, I have never been to the city of Genoa itself — but if you are searching for something different to visit while in Europe and you are interested in sculptures and stone carvings, the Monumental Cemetery of Staglieno is the place for you to visit…

Teresa Maina

Teresa Maina. Click on the image to view its source. Source: American Friends of Italian Monumental Sculpture. Used with permission.

…and speaking of visiting the Monumental Cemetery of Staglieno, would you be interested in joining Walter S. Arnold on a trip to Genoa if he organized one, with sculptures and carvings as the main theme?

Venzano Memorial, 1880. Source of all photographs used in this article: American Friends of Italian Monumental Sculpture. Used with permission.

2 thoughts on “The Largest Outdoor Sculpture Museum in Europe — and How You Can Help to Save It”

  1. GUWonder says:

    gargoyle is a great person

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I completely agree, GUWonder.

      Have you met him?

      I know you and I have not met yet…

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