A statue with a view was the last thing I thought of when I first came to live here in Umbria, Italy. That was nearly 25 years ago. After all, buying furniture, decorating and getting used to the language took up enough of my time! But there was a statue waiting for me.
A Statue With A View Of The Road
Driving to the supermarket each week I passed an old marble place, right on the corner of a road junction. Here in Italy you can call in and pick the marble you would like for your kitchen worktop, for example. They have the slabs of marble there and they cut it to the size you want. The image below is where they sell marble at Panicale, the next town up from where we live here in Umbria.
The marble place I passed regularly, no longer there now, was selling some marble fountains and statues and there was one statue that caught my eye every time I passed. A beautiful, larger than life size statue of a woman in a flowing gown with a garland of flowers. And it was like she was looking at me as I drove past. She was right by the fence looking out over the road.
I fell in love with this statue and said that one day she was coming to my house!
Mum and I Went Shopping
One day, on a complete whim, I stopped and asked how much the statue was. The answer seemed an unfathomable amount of lira (bearing in mind that at that time £1 was worth just over 2,000 Italian lira). Mum was with me on holiday. We had little postcards with prices written on that we we carried around to work out the exchange rate as it was so complicated! At that time, the Italian lira was worth so little, sometimes they gave us the change from a purchase in a shop as a couple of candies!
Anyway, after much eye watering about the amount in lira, I worked it out that she cost £300. This was and is a lot of money but I had seriously fallen in love with her. Who knows what she would cost me today mind you. I knew exactly where I wanted her to stand on our land, I had the perfect place. The deal was done and delivery was arranged for a few days later.
The Statue Arrives At The House
The day of the delivery arrived and a large lorry with a crane arrived. The statue was standing on a wooden pallet on the back of the lorry, held on to the metal grids on the sides with rope.
I showed them where the statue would go. We had already built up the area so it was flat enough to take the statue. The guys checked the area carefully and put a few large stones in place as extra support. Then I watched, with my heart in my mouth, as they used the crane to lift the statue and lower it into place. They had to negotiate round a couple of trees and an electricity pole. And then there she was. She had gone from sitting at the side of the road to being a statue with a view of over 26 miles down the mountainside and to the valley below.
Today, she watches over a little group of dead kittens buried nearby that I asked her to care fore. She stares out at the view over a dog run that was put in under her watchful gaze. I see her everyday when we exercise the dogs. She has weathered a bit but doesn’t look bad for having been out in the elements for over 20 years. What seemed like a huge extravagance at the time, seems value for money today.
As you can see, she is very happy in her little part of the world. I have always felt that she was keeping watch over us and our animals, a guardian angel if you will. She will be doing so for many years to come.
My statue inspired the piece of artwork above called ‘An Angel Awaits’. I also included it in my blog Might Angels Walk Among Us?
Before you go
My name is Dorothy Berry-Lound (ShannathShima) an artist and writer. You can find out more about my art and writing at https://dorothyberryloundart.com.
Thank you for reading!