At the entrance to the historic centre of Ravenna, next to Porta Adriana, a monument has been erected in memory of the former mayor of the city Pier Paolo D’Attorre (Reggio Emilia 1951 – Ravenna 1997), who died prematurely.
He was an intellectual dedicated to research and study, a great connoisseur of local culture, the author of numerous books and essays on history and a university lecturer at the University of Bologna.
It was the then mayor D’Attorre – with the Authority for Environmental and Architectural Heritage and the Archdiocese – who forged ahead with the inclusion of Ravenna on the UNESCO World Heritage List, formally approved on 7 December 1996, a few months before his death.
The monument was designed by Santiago del Cile-born artist Matthias Biehler, who usually prefers ready-made works (the use of everyday objects that become works of art), but who in this case came up with a variant inspired by mosaics in honour of Ravenna.
The creation of the sculpture was entrusted to Luciana Notturni, who directed the work of young students from the Ravenna mosaic schools in the workshops of the Consorzio Provinciale di Formazione Professionale (Provincial Consortium for Vocational Training).
The structure is located in the very central Piazzetta Gandhi, at the end of Via Cavour, where it was inaugurated in April 2000, three years after D’Attorre’s death.
The work consists of a bench covered with mosaic tiles, on which a folded coat and a book, also made of mosaic, seem to have been absent-mindedly placed.
The cover of the book bears the image of a bush with red and white chalice-shaped flowers, an iconographic motif taken from the decoration of the Byzantine church of S. Apollinare in Classe. The man is therefore missing, but these objects, symbols of his life as a citizen and intellectual, speak of him and preserve his memory.