Save the Venere Biomeccanica - iconic symbol of creative urban resistance
Florence, Italy: The iconic Venere Biomeccanica (Biomechanical Venus) sculpture is under threat of being removed as part of a larger regeneration project in the city. The 5-meter tall anthropomorphic statue is located in a former textile machine factory complex in the Rifredi neighbourhood of Florence. The sculpture was built by a group of activist artists who entered the abandoned building complex in March 2003 and constructed the incredible structure as a symbol of struggle and hope for the preservation of social spaces in Florence and the ongoing battle against the commodification of the city.
The Biomechanical Venus was the culmination of a striking series of protest actions that took place in the city against Florence’s growing commercialization through tourism, and was born during 40 days of occupation of the former factory complex area. The sculpture is still standing at the same location almost 20 years later, although its future appears now to be uncertain due to the proposed development of a new design school at the site.
A campaign has been started to save the statue. Under the title ‘La Casa della Venere’ (The House of Venus), the campaign calls for the Venere Biomeccanica to be protected by the city and to be integrated into the construction of the new design school as a monument to Florence’s history of artist-led political action and social intervention.
You can support the campaign to save the Biomechanical Venus by signing the petition here on Change.org
(Signatories from outside Italy are also very welcome)
More information about this building and the story of the sculpture can be found via the Plotting the Urban Body podcast project, which recently did a survey of the neighbourhood as part of their ongoing series on urban environments and transformation.