Rome is considered one of the greenest cities in Europe, being home to 313,000 trees founds in the city’s parks and streets. However many of these trees were planted about a hundred years ago and are now dead or dying, thus 22-year-old Andrea Gandini is doing his part by turning the dead tree stumps into sculptures.
“I had been sculpting wood since I was a kid, in my garage. Then I chose to carve a stump that was out on the street. That is how I chose to start carving stumps in Rome,” says Gandini after finishing what is now is 66th sculpture since he began five years ago.
“It takes me about a week to finish one sculpture, then it becomes everyone’s. It’s a passion and a bit of a fixation,” the young sculptor adds.
Gandini’s sculptures are becoming so popular that tour guides point them out in their packages. The sculptor also keeps track of the stumps on is website. “Rome has many stumps that are waiting to become pieces of art.”
There is a downside, however. While there is no law low prohibiting carving stumps like what Gandini does, police have began threatening him from historic areas using tough new rules in order to maintain decorum.
But the sculptor believes that trees need to be taken care of, noting that some fall and smash cars, requiring up to 86,000 trees needing to be maintained or chopped down for safety. “If nothing changes in ten years there will be hardly any trees left,” Gandini ends. REUTERS