August 07, 2010

Umberto Bonini, Museo della Galassia/Museum of the Galaxy

pictures courtesy of Mario Bonini

Life and works

Umberto Bonini (1926-2002), a trader in men's clothes, lived in the Liguria area of Italy. He has become known because of a single-handedly built castle and surrounding garden which he decorated in a very special way.

In the 1960's when staying in a psychiatric hospital because of a depression, he got visisons of a circular structure that turned towards the light.

With this experience in mind, in the 1970's on a plot of land outside the community of Calice al Cornoviglio, north of la Spezia, Bonini began constructing a castle-like structure, with walls and towers, using stones and pebbles from a nearby river.

The walls of the buildings have been embellished with sculpted faces.

Bonini also made stand alone sculptures.

The site has a beautiful garden with terraces, ponds, footpaths, lawns, etc., all made and laid out singlehandedly by Bonini.

Bonini made all kinds of spheres, tubes and cylinders from construction iron, which he displayed in the garden and on the buildings, as can be seen in the pictures above. A number of  these constructions depicted the galactic universe, so that's why the site is named after the galaxy..

Umberto Bonini has been active in creating this art environment for some thirty years.

Actual situation

Currently his son. Mario Bonini, takes care of the site. It can be visited as a museum.

* Article on the website Costruttori di Babele 
* Article on SPACES website
* More pictures on Francesco Galli's website

Umberto Bonini
Museo della Galassia
Calice al Cornoviglio, Liguria, Italy
open on sundays and public holidays

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