Artists Heritage Italy

Caravaggio to be buried in Tuscan memorial park

Baroque master's remains were discovered in a local church in 2010

Caravaggio's bones will be housed in a monumental arch created by the sculptor Giuseppe Conte

Four hundred and four years after his death, the remains of Caravaggio will be buried near the Tuscan coastal town of Porto Ercole in a memorial park due to open on 18 July. Mystery surrounded the circumstances of Caravaggio’s death for centuries. Porto Ercole had been identified as the artist’s final resting place, but the whereabouts of his body was not known until Silvano Vinceti, the president of the Caravaggio Foundation, and a team of experts discovered the artist's remains in a local church in 2010.

Vinceti has led the project to build the Parc Monumental Funeraire, which has been funded by the Caravaggio Foundation and the council of Monte Argentario (which owns the land) at a total cost of €65,000.

Caravaggio's remains will be housed under a monumental arch created by the sculptor Giuseppe Conte, which will be topped with a ceramic basket of fruits inspired by Caravaggio's famous still-lifes. The park will also include colourful and fragrant Mediterranean plants such as jasmine, lavender and rosemary. "The site, rich in smells and colours, is conceived as a joyous, not sad, memorial to Caravaggio," Vinceti told Le Journal des Arts.

Building on the memorial began in June last year and the inauguration is due to take place on 18 July, the date of Caravaggio's death. During the ceremony, the artist’s remains will be interred.

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