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Watch A Massive Violin Transport Musicians Down Venice's Grand Canal

"Noah's Violin", a giant floating violin by Venetian sculptor Livio De Marchi, journeyed through Venice's Grand Canal on Saturday. De Marchi, who has sent many wooden works into the water, came up with the idea during last year's pandemic lockdown.
"Noah's Violin", a giant floating violin by Venetian sculptor Livio De Marchi, journeyed through Venice's Grand Canal on Saturday. De Marchi, who has sent many wooden works into the water, came up with the idea during last year's pandemic lockdown.

The trademark gondolas of Venice's Grand Canal played second fiddle this weekend to a very unusual vessel: A giant violin carrying a live string quartet.

"Noah's Violin" is the most recent creation of Venetian artist Livio De Marchi. He's sent plenty of other wooden works out to sea, including a giant shoe and an origami hat.

This large-scale replica is made from about a dozen different kinds of wood, with nuts, bolts and space for a motor inside, according to the The New York Times.

De Marchi, who came up with the idea during last year's lockdown, told the newspaper that the violin is a "sign of Venice restarting." He named it after Noah's ark because he sees it as bringing a message of hope — artistically and culturally — after a storm.

The violin made its journey down the canal on Saturday, as musicians on board performed works by Vivaldi (De Marchi also cited the Venetian violinist and composer as a source of inspiration for the craft's design).

After its roughly hour-long ride, the violin was blessed by a reverend, who said he hoped it would send a message of hope to the world. The Times reports that businesses in Italy and a museum in China have already expressed interest.


This story originally appeared on the Morning Edition live blog.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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