Bussana Vecchia

Maybe it is the magnetism, the invisible cohesion and the Knowing that exist among the spirits of artists that lead Benjé Deacon to create this replica of a building in Bussana Vecchia.

Please come and walk with us down the cobblestone pathways to find out why he did. In the province of Imperia lies one of the most beautiful medieval villages of Liguria. Perched in the hills and olive groves is Bussana Vecchia, whose story begins with a forgotten tragedy. A disastrous earthquake is known as “Diano Marina” occurred in Liguria February 23, 1887, early in the morning.

It was the first day of Lent and a lot of the inhabitants were in church when it happened. The violent quake razed the houses of the village and the ceiling of the church of Sant’Egidio collapsed on worshipers, causing 2000 casualties. Old Bussana was declared uninhabitable and was abandoned for more than 60 years. In 1959, an artist from Piedmont the ceramist, Mario Giani, aka Clizia, fell in love with the village and decided to bring back to life Bussana, a village at the time ruined, with no sewers, no electricity and drinking water. In 1961, thanks to Clizia, the painter Vanni Giuffrè and poet Giovanni Front, influenced the international community of artists to such an extent that Dutch artists, Austrian, French and Germans began to restructure the village.

The artists were meticulous and respected the medieval urban structure of Old Bussana.They used roof tiles, bricks and stones recovered from the rubble. Then from the 1950’s onwards the beauty of ‘old’ Bussana Vecchia started to be recognised, in particular by the artistic community who started to take over the evocative ruins for use as studios and galleries. It became known as the International Artists Village.

Today the village is reborn, attracting every year thousands of tourists. It houses shops and art and craft workshops of all kinds. Bussana Vecchia is situated near Sanremo, in the south-west of the Liguria region and about 20 kilometres east of the border between Italy and France.

Enjoy Bussana Vecchia when you look at this artwork and imagine walking on the cobblestone pathway, through the alleys, up the stairs and maybe enter the door of an old eccentric artist.

Artwork 21 Portrait