The architect Renzo Piano presented himself yesterday morning at the headquarters of the Liguria Region to present a model for the reconstruction of the Morandi Bridge in Genoa, which collapsed on 14 August, killing 43 people.
“I’ve already said I would be happy [to be involved] because that’s my mission,” he told the Observer. “I’m also a senator for life [in the Italian parliament] and so it is one of my duties to respond to such a disaster in some way.”
“One thing for sure is that it must be beautiful – not in the sense of cosmetics but in conveying a message of truth and pride,” he said. “It must be a place where people can recognise the tragedy in some way, while also providing a great entrance to the city. All this must be done without any sign of rhetoric – that would be the worst trap”.
He added: “But I think we will stay away [from that] and instead try to express real pride and values. That is what Genoa deserves.” He added: “Genoa is reluctant to spread emotion – it’s quite introspective and timid, but the strength is inside, like a retained energy. So it’s not a city that is screaming and shouting, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t need help – and I will try to help.”
Piano said that the collapse of the arterial road, which connected east and west Genoa, and the Lombardy and Piedmont regions with Liguria and French border, had split the port city in two. “A bridge is a symbol and should never fall, because when a bridge falls, walls go up. So it’s not only physical but metaphorical – walls are bad, we should not build walls, but bridges are good, they make connections.”