The story is sadly known: in January of 1968, two earthquakes, just a day apart, razed the town of Gibellina to the ground, causing hundreds of victims and leaving one hundred thousand survivors without a roof over their heads throughout the entire Belice Valley. The local administration decided to abandon the site and to rebuild a new city about twenty kilometers away, closer to the main road. To compensate for the loss of historical roots, the new Gibellina would, however, have been “ennobled” by a dense presence of works of art.
When, in 1981, Alberto Burri visited the ruins of Gibellina, he didn’t find any ideas. However, when he learned that the inhabitants continued to go back there, to wander through the rubble of the destroyed city, to reflect and visit what was once their home, Alberto Burri made a decision. Right there, amidst that rubble steeped in pain, there would be a
To go back to and return to over and over again.
P.S.: part of the experience of the visit is the journey to the Cretto, during which you very often meet up with a large flock of sheep that block the road for a few minutes.