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The Monument to the Truck Driver of Bologna: origin, meaning and welcome  

Italy is rich in natural beauty and wonderful historical sites, but there are also unusual and curious monuments. The Monument to the Truck Driver in Bologna is an example. Let’s see what it is. 

It is one of the most curious monuments in Italy: the Monumento al Camionista is an installation placed in 2010 at the roundabout of Borgo Panigale, a district of Bologna. 

As the name of the installation suggests, it is a work born that pays tribute to the work of hauliers. 

Origin and realization of the work  

The Monument to the Truck Driver of Bologna was built on an initiative of the CNA FITA association of the city that represents, promotes and protects the companies in the transport of goods and people, with the patronage of the City. 

Born with the aim of recognizing the daily commitment of road hauliers (as well as the work of trade associations and small business in general), the idea was supported by various sponsors and some transport and logistics companies. 

It all started when the CNA FITA promoted a competition called “Giants of the road” to be able to find the best idea, then found by a team of experts among fourteen projects in the proposal of Andrea Capucci.

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The artist from Modena approached the competition with the idea of trying an experience of public art by trying out a theme and a context (at least apparently) distant from his way of doing art through drawing on paper, ceramics and terracotta sculpture. Your challenge? The experimentation of remarkable dimensions, different materials and urban installation place. Accompanying him was a team of architects (Agnese Barbieri and Costanza Bruini), engineers (Francesco Bursi and Antonio Ruggerini) and computational designers (Alessandro Zomparelli). 

The Gasbarrini roundabout in the Pioppa area is not a place of installation chosen at random, since there the truck drivers always gathered before some demonstration or strike. Moreover, being positioned at the exit of the motorway and the access to via Emilia, it is one of the busiest in the city. However, the sculpture has aroused many perplexities, because putting the truck at the center of the work, it praises a means that impacts considerably on the environment, in a historical period in which it is turning towards green solutions for the respect and the safeguard of the planet. 

Description of the Truck Driver Monument 

The Monument to the Lorry Driver of Bologna consists of an imposing structure ten meters high and two and a half meters wide made of aluminum. 

From the ceramic sketch that visually showed the idea, we passed first to the realization of the 3D model and then to the production of the steel structure. The rest was done by the machines, bending, assembling and welding each piece and aluminum foil of the big man (under the careful supervision of the creator and the team of professionals who supported him). 

The result is a depiction of a man carrying a Daf 1300 truck, one of the most used trucks by transporters. This “bison of the road” rests on the back of the aluminum man who seems not to be affected by its weight.

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What is the meaning of the Aluminium Giant? 

The message of the Monument to the Truck Driver in Bologna comes clear to the eyes of those who observe it thanks to the size, the essential and minimalist lines and the arrangement of the elements. 

The Aluminium Giant conveys a message of gratitude to truck drivers, who carry out their work in difficult conditions and often end up in the center of criticism and mistrust. In essence, the roundabout of the Bologna Truck Driver invites citizens to reflect on the importance of the transport sector in ensuring the flow of goods and the functioning of the economy. 

However, as pointed out by the creator of the installation, the real protagonist is man as the inventor of the truck (as well as many other things) able to meet their needs and improve their lives. It is the machine that is at the service of man and not vice versa. Not surprisingly, compared to the size of the truck, the man is much more impressive. 

It took three years of work and the intervention of professional teams to create a work that moves away from the more traditional works of art hosted by art museums, such as those of the National Art Gallery those of the Museum of Modern Art in Bologna. To observe the work of the Aluminium Giant, no queues or entrance fees are required. 

The installation is a work of public art that winks to other works made with materials and techniques very far from traditional, such as The bunch of grapes in the roundabout in Modena and the Monument to Parmigiano Reggiano in the center of the roundabout of Barco in Cavriago.

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The Truck Driver Monument, the impact on the community and visitors 

The Aluminium Giant has had a significant impact on the local community and visitors to Bologna. It has become a point of reference for truck drivers, who see in this work a recognition of their daily work.  

It has become an unmissable stop for tourists who arrive in Bologna and are intrigued by the imposing structure (of which we continue to talk) and the meaning of the work. 

However, there is no shortage of detractors. The monument is classified as public art, but there are also those who can not grasp the beauty of the installation, especially considering the proximity of the roundabout of the truck driver at the door to a city rich in history and culture as Bologna. 

There were also those who raised the issue of the visual impact of the driver as he enters the roundabout, although the orientation of the statue was chosen by the creator and the group of professionals with the aim of enhancing the view of the work from the points where it slows down. 

The Giant of the road among the finalists of the Monumentellum 

The Monument to the Truck Driver is an installation so “curious” that it has also aroused the attention of the broadcast “The provincial” of Radio2 Pif and Michele Astori. This is how opera became popular throughout Italy. The Giant of the road is finished among the finalists of the Monumentellum competition of 2017, that is that of the “most bizarre monuments in Italy”, but he failed to win the podium.

Copertina: weekendpremium

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