The Atatürk And Italian Sculptor Pietro Canonica Workshop Took Place (4)

The Atatürk and Italian Sculptor Pietro Canonica Workshop Took Place

The Italian Cultural Center organized a workshop titled “Pietro Canonica and Atatürk” as part of the Republic’s 100th-anniversary events in Ankara, Istanbul, and Izmir. Pietro Canonica, an Italian sculptor whose signature can be found on four significant Atatürk statues that have become symbols of the cities, was the focus of this workshop. It took place on November 3rd at the Casa di Italia Theater.

The Atatürk And Italian Sculptor Pietro Canonica Workshop Took Place (5)

This workshop, organized in collaboration with the Italian Embassy and the Rome Municipality by the Italian Cultural Center in Istanbul, commenced with opening speeches by Italian Ambassador Giorgio Marrapodi, Rome Municipality’s Cultural Secretary Miguel Gotor, and the Director of the Istanbul Italian Cultural Center, Salvatore Schirmo. The workshop was divided into two sessions, where notable academicians from both Turkey and Italy, including Carla Scicchitano, İlber Ortaylı, Silvia Pedone, Luca Orlandi, Aylin Tekiner, Francesco Pongiluppi, Mevlüt Çelebi, Özlem İnay Erten, Davide Deriu, Burcu Pelvanoğlu, Luca J. Senatore, Marco Carpiceci, and Fabio Colonnese, discussed Canonica’s works in the context of Italy-Turkey relations during that time. The workshop was well-received by participants and concluded with a guided tour to Taksim Republic Monument led by Luca Orlandi and Burcu Pelvanoğlu.

The Atatürk And Italian Sculptor Pietro Canonica Workshop Took Place (1)

Four of the most famous Atatürk statues in Turkey bear the signature of the sculptor Pietro Canonica. Canonica’s works include the Atatürk statue in front of the Ankara Ethnography Museum (1927), the Atatürk statue in marshal uniform at Victory Square (1927), both in Ankara; the Republic Monument in Taksim Square, Istanbul (1928), co-authored with the Levantine architect Giulio Mongeri; and the equestrian Atatürk statue at Republic Square in Izmir (1932).

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Turkish Republic, the Italian Cultural Center, in collaboration with the Italian Embassy and the Rome Municipality, organized the workshop “Pietro Canonica and Atatürk,” which delves into the history and creation of these works commissioned by Atatürk during the early years of the Turkish Republic. During the workshop, experts from Turkey and Italy examined various aspects of the sculptor’s works and their impact on the urban, architectural, and artistic perspectives of the era.

The Atatürk And Italian Sculptor Pietro Canonica Workshop Took Place (3)

The “Pietro Canonica and Atatürk” workshop began with opening speeches by Italian Ambassador Giorgio Marrapodi, Rome Municipality’s Cultural Secretary Miguel Gotor, and the Director of the Istanbul Italian Cultural Center, Salvatore Schirmo. In the first session moderated by Luis Miguel Selvelli from the Levantine Cultural Heritage Foundation, speakers Carla Scicchitano, İlber Ortaylı, Silvia Pedone, Luca Orlandi, and Aylin Tekiner discussed topics such as Canonica’s museum home and Turkish experience, Italian-Turkish relations during the early years of the Republic, and Atatürk statues. The second session, moderated by Baha Tanman from Istanbul University, featured discussions on the relationship between the sculptor and Atatürk, the Western perspective on the Turkish capital, and early Republican era Turkish female artists, among other topics.

The workshop, with simultaneous translation between Italian and Turkish, concluded with a question-and-answer session and a guided tour to Taksim Republic Monument led by Luca Orlandi and Burcu Pelvanoğlu.

The Atatürk And Italian Sculptor Pietro Canonica Workshop Took Place (2)

ABOUT PIETRO CANONICA

Pietro Canonica, invited by the founder of the Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, came to Turkey in 1926-1928 to create a series of works to celebrate the country’s democratic change and regime change after World War I and the fall of the Ottoman Empire. The participation of an Italian artist like Pietro Canonica aimed to emphasize Atatürk’s great achievement in creating a new and modern nation from the ashes of a collapsed and outdated empire through sculpture. In just a few years, the sculptor created four monuments of the highest artistic quality, representing the emerging modern Turkey, and fulfilling Atatürk’s desire to break away from the sultanate and imperial past in favor of Western models represented by European nations, including Italy. These four works, two in Ankara and one each in Istanbul and Izmir, have become symbols of the cities and attest to the immense artistic contribution of the Piedmontese sculptor to the nascent nation of Turkey.


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