‘City of Flowers in the Sky’ Fireworks

Photo of one of the artist’s works courtesy La Repubblica

A Chinese artist currently resident in the United States, Cai Guo-Qiang, is gifting Florence with special performance art:  a themed fireworks display on November 18 at 4 pm.

Guo-Qiang designed the “Footprints of History” fireworks show that opened the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.  He creates nature paintings using the minerals of gunpowder, for which he is known worldwide.

Designed to reflect his solo exhibition at the Uffizi, entitled “Flora Commedia” hosted by the gallery from November 20 – February 17, 2019, the fireworks will be visible in the sky above Piazzale Michelangelo in the form of ethereal flowers.  This is meant as a tribute to Florence’s original name given the settlement by Roman soldiers: Florentia, in honor of the goddess Flora who was identified with the rebirth of nature during the season of spring.

During the  10-minute show, 50,000 fireworks will explode tracing tulips, roses and daisies and the Three Graces as a floral homage to the Florence, and Botticelli’s Primavera (Allegory of Spring) in the Uffizi.  A 24m (79 ft.) roll will impress one of the series, which will be added to the Uffizi show.

Viale de’ Colli leading to Piazzale Michelangelo will be closed to traffic on that day from 5 am to 6:30 pm.  (rosanna cirigliano)

To read more in Italian, visit Florence’s La Repubblica news site.