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“An Impressive Construction... but Does it Evoke Suffering and Disaster?”
Review of Cretto di Burri

Cretto di Burri
Ranked #1 of 12 things to do in Gibellina
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 3 July 2018

The Cretto di Burri is a huge land artwork conceived by the late artist, Alberto Burri, which took 30 years to finish. It was built as a form of memorial on the ruins of the town of Gibellina, in the south-west of Sicily, which was destroyed by the Belice earthquake in 1968. The earthquake killed around 400-500 people in the area and made 100,000 homeless. It has the form of huge 1.6 metre high layer of concrete over the hillside town's ruins, into which are cut pathways where visitors can walk, which follow the line of the old streets and alleyways. While the structure is impressive, and certainly worth a visit, one has to ask does it really make any emotional connection with the disaster -- or connote anything of the suffering and destruction? In my view, its form is too blank and monolithic to achieve that. Our visit was not helped by the absence of any information about the work or the disaster on the site -- and the visitor centre was closed. Visitors with no prior knowledge would be left in the dark. Incidentally the site is always open and there is no charge to enter.

Six kilometres down the road past the Cretto you will find the still standing ruins of another town, Poggioreale, also destroyed by the earthquake (and like Gibellina, re-built several kilometres away). These decaying ruins, which are too dangerous to enter, but which can be viewed from surrounding roads, are much more evocative of the disastrous effects of the earthquake on thousands of lives, than the Cretto... and should certainly be visited at the same time as the artwork.

1  Thank Carl G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 8 May 2018

"Cretto di Burri" by artist Alberto Burri is one of the largest pieces of land art. Constructed on top of the earthquake ruined village of Gibellina, Burri followed the former street plan covering the village with a white concrete maze. It is a formal and anti-formal dedication, patching and mending nature's destruction, solidifying an earthquake. Incredibly bright in the sun, it is soft and quiet and an obvious reference to interior vs exterior space by mimicking the agricultural patchwork of the surrounding farmland as well as the ghost of a village. Burri's work in general consists of un-art materials: burlap, tar, melted plastic, cracked paint/plaster etc.

Access the site by way of Poggioreale/Gibellina Vecchia from the east side of the hill...otherwise you will abruptly run into deep cracks and holes in the roads on the west side!

1  Thank laranickel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 October 2017 via mobile

Astonishing visit to the world largest land art masterpiece. An entire village grounded by an earthquake in 1968 covered with white cement.
Impressive and breathtaking!

Thank biviere
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 June 2017

As if in the middle of nowhere is this field of huge concrete blocks, signifying a former village destroyed by an earthquake. Away from the village centre are some individual ruins of what must have been a factory and a more recentlly build apartment building. The longer I stayed and walked through what must have been little village streets, the more this massive monument hits.

Thank Georg S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 15 June 2016

The reviews I read abut it and the recommendations told me that I would find the destroyed houses. But we only found the Cretto di Burro with no one to explain. Some explained to us when we returned home. It is difficult to arrive thre, but for sentimental valuer it worth a visit.

Thank John I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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