Giant Violin Boat Ferries String Quartet Down Grand Canal of Venice: NPR

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“Noah’s Violin”, a giant floating violin by Venetian sculptor Livio De Marchi, crossed Venice’s Grand Canal on Saturday. De Marchi, who sent many wooden works into the water, came up with the idea during last year’s pandemic lockdown.

Marco Bertorello / AFP via Getty Images


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Marco Bertorello / AFP via Getty Images


“Noah’s Violin”, a giant floating violin by Venetian sculptor Livio De Marchi, crossed Venice’s Grand Canal on Saturday. De Marchi, who sent many wooden works into the water, came up with the idea during last year’s pandemic lockdown.

Marco Bertorello / AFP via Getty Images

The iconic gondolas of Venice’s Grand Canal played the supporting role this weekend to a very unusual ship: a giant violin carrying a live string quartet.

“Noah’s Violin” is the most recent creation by Venetian artist Livio De Marchi. He sent many other wooden works to sea, including a giant shoe and an origami hat.

This full-scale replica is made from a dozen different species, with nuts, bolts and room for an engine inside, according to the The New York Times.

De Marchi, who came up with the idea during the lockdown last year, told the newspaper the violin is a “sign of the Venice reboot.” He named it after Noah’s Ark because he sees it as a message of hope – artistically and culturally – after a storm.

The violin made its trip along the canal on Saturday, as musicians on board performed works by Vivaldi (De Marchi also cited the Venetian violinist and composer as inspiration for the craft’s design).

After its roughly an hour’s journey, the violin was blessed by a Reverend, who said he hoped it would send a message of hope to the world. The Times reports that companies in Italy and a museum in China have already expressed interest.

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This story originally appeared on the Morning edition live blog.

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