Varying Heights, Between 3 and 14 Metres

November 1, 2013 by  

Varying Heights, Between 3 and 14 Metres, ‘Stars of Europe’ by the Italian artist Maura Biava is an aluminum work of art installed on the occasion of the10th anniversary of the Treaty of Maastricht. It is located in front of the Bonnefanten Museum on the Avenue Céramique in Maastricht not far from the offices of ELLIS Publications.

The stars turn in the wind. On the poles are quotes and sentences about Europe – handwritten in graffiti style – by different historians and philosophers. These were discussed and selected by the public during the interactive first stage of the monument’s development.

“Whatever kind of European you are, whatever kind of Europe you wish, remember the past while shaping the future.”
Hans van den Broek

“Take the different states of Europe. In fact, we cannot find a pair who weren’t at war at one time or another. The French and the British, the Poles and Germans, and so on… So there is memory which is a prison, which is regressive. But, on the other hand, we cannot do without the cultivation of the memory of our cultural achievements, and also of our suffering This brings me to the second element. We need a memory of the second order which is based on forgiving. And we cannot forgive if we have forgotten.”
Paul Ricoeur

Maastricht wanted to celebrate the anniversary of the Treaty with a monument, symbolizing the spirit of Europe. Submissions were received from all over the world but among them all, the most innovative and fascinating idea was that of the young Italian artist, Maura Biava. Her initial project was a virtual monument on the Web. The idea, provocative and rather revolutionary, was to set up a first exploratory Website, to recount the virtual monument project and get to know what European citizens thought about it. Anyone passing through the library of the Centre Céramique in Maastricht could find a glass room, with mirror decorations, accommodating in turn three actresses: Carla, Barbara and Claire, the protagonists who gave the Website its name. The three girls accompanied the real visitor (to the Centre Céramique), and the virtual visitor (on the site), through the drawings, photos and other material collected by Maura Biava to develop her project. In the end however, the decision returned to the concept of a traditional monument. “35 stars of various size – explains the young artist -12 large ones and the others smaller raised on poles of varying height, between 3 and 14 metres”.

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