A Michelangelo-inspired cardboard bridge floats above Rome


The impressive artwork is based on one of Michelangelo's unrealised designs. 

An illuminated 18-metre long cardboard bridge suspended by three large white helium balloons is floating above Rome’s Tiber river, bringing to life a project imagined but never realised by Michelangelo.

Pope Paul III commissioned the artist to create a bridge connecting the Palazzo Farnese, a 16th Century family palace that now hosts the French embassy to Italy, with the gardens of a villa on the other side of the river.

It was never completed after Michelangelo’s death, but the “Farnese Bridge” installation by French artist Olivier Grossetete is a tribute to the Renaissance master.

A view of an art installation by French artist Olivier Grossetete titled “The Farnese Bridge”, showing a Michelangelo-inspired cardboard bridge floating above the Tiber river, suspended by three balloons, in Rome, Italy, July 13, 2021. REUTERS/Yara Nardi

The French embassy was among the promoters of the initiative, which culminated in an inauguration on the eve of France’s Bastille Day national celebration.

French ambassador Christian Masset said in a statement the bridge was a sign that Italy and France were intrinsically connected and their friendship was strong and unbreakable.

The installation will remain in place until July 18. The cardboard will then be recycled.



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