Venice gold brightens Christmas spirit

Venice lacks the tourists who normally give it a festive air at Christmas, but the Italian city has nonetheless highlighted its landmarks to celebrate the holidays this year.

Venice gold brightens Christmas spirit
A view shows an installation by Italian artist Fabrizio Plessi set up by the Bell Tower (L) and the Doge's Palace at St. Mark's Square on December 4, 2020 in Venice, during the government's restriction measures to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus. The installation is a luminous "beacon" composed of more than 80 modules of 1m by 50cm, taking the form of "a tree of life that symbolically unites earth, water, and sky, interpreting the deepest sense of Christmas" according to the artist. AFP
Saint Mark's Square and the Rialto Bridge across the Grand Canal in particular benefit from special lighting and projections that give inhabitants some comfort in this time of coronavirus. 

Italian artist Fabrizio Plessi created a Christmas tree on the square with huge rectangular screens that project a golden light.

They flood the area with warm light at night, reflecting off wet paving stones. 

"My purpose is to light up this town, which needs light, which needs culture, which needs new emotions," Plessi told AFPTV.

Owing to the pandemic, "this Christmas is different from the others," said Plessi, who with his white beard could himself pass for Santa Claus.

"We have this problem like other people all around the world, but I strongly believe in positivity," he said.

The artist explained his choice of light screens to build a Christmas tree by saying: "I work a lot with digital and all contemporary instruments, because I think that an artist must use all the means which his/her times makes available."

Plessi placed a second piece at the end of the square, called "The Golden Age" and which also projects yellow light that resembles molten gold.

Rialto images

Another celebrated symbol of the city, the Rialto Bridge, has been transformed into a screen for light shows once night falls. 

Angels dance on the span's ancient arches and then make way for the gold lion on a red background that is the symbol of Venice.

The images are reflected in the Grand Canal, creating an atmosphere full of fantasy and life.

Topics: Venice , Christmas , Saint Mark's Square , Rialto Bridge , Grand Canal
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