Colombian artist Botero is buried in his adopted home of Tuscany, Italy

The sculpture is called "warrior"located in Pietrasanta, northern Italy, designed by Colombian artist Fernando Botero (Andreas SOLARO)

The sculpture “Warrior” in Pietrasanta, northern Italy, created by Colombian artist Fernando Botero (Andreas SOLARO)

Colombian Fernando Botero, one of the most important Latin American artists of the 20th century, was buried on Saturday in Pietrasanta, a city in Italy’s Tuscany region, where he and his wife After living there for decades, his wife died in May.

The famous painter and sculptor died of pneumonia in Monaco on September 15 at the age of 91. His body was first transferred to Colombia so that his compatriots could pay their last respects to him, especially in the capital Bogota and his hometown Medellín.

But the Colombian artist wants to be buried in the small town of Pietrasanta, about 30 kilometers from Pisa (northern Italy), known as “Little Athens” for its marble quarries, foundries and sculptors.

Botero created approximately 300 sculptures and 3,000 paintings, characterized by his recognizable large, powerful figures.

You can see some of his paintings in the city, such as “The Gates of Heaven” and “The Gates of Hell” in the Mercy Church, where his ashes were exposed from Thursday until his funeral on Saturday.

The artist’s ashes were transferred from the church to the Cathedral of San Martin de Pietrasanta, where the funeral was held accompanied by a local orchestra.

During the ceremony, the mayor of the town, Ambassador of Colombia to Italy Ligia Margarita Quessep Bitar, and some of his friends and his daughter Lina Botero spoke.

“We give him honorary citizenship as a token of our gratitude because he really deserves it,” Mayor Alberto Giovannetti told AFP before the ceremony. “He always loved Pietrasanta, Pietrasanta The tower also knew how to welcome him and open its doors to him.”

Adolfo Agolini, owner of Mariani Foundry and Botero’s friend, explained that he had known Botero since early 1976. “He arrived with (his wife) Sophia Vari… and we began a collaboration that continues to this day.”

– “Eternal Resting Place” –

The artist’s ashes were placed in front of the cathedral’s altar, surrounded by white flowers and next to a large portrait of Botero.

His three children, Fernando Botero Zea, Lina Botero and Juan Carlos Botero, sat in the front row.

“This country has always been very important to my father… We are happy that he chose Pietrasanta as his eternal resting place,” Lina Botero told AFP. “He worked here for more than 40 years. , where he made his sculptures thanks to the foundries, the marble workshops where he worked and the work of the craftsmen whose talent he admired and respected,” he added.

After the ceremony, Botero’s ashes were interred in the cemetery area reserved for outstanding citizens of Pietrasanta.

Botero’s work has become a global phenomenon and can be seen in museums and public spaces in cities such as Bogota, Madrid, Paris, Barcelona, ​​Singapore and Venice.

The artist is convinced that exhibitions in public spaces are a “revolutionary way” to bring art closer to the public.

Some of his works have sold for as much as $4.3 million at auction.


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