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Bought on the internet, taken to pieces, but not going anywhere: Plan to transport 19th-century church from southern Italy to US is blocked after protest


Plans to dismantle and transport a church from southern Italy to the US have come a cropper after local protests.

Francesco Vezzoli, 42, an Italian artist, has already taken apart the pretty 19th-century church in the village of Montegiordano, in Calabria, ready for shipment to America. There he plans to reconstruct it as an exhibit at a leading modern art museum. Vezzoli, a well-known artist and film-maker, wants to rebuild the church, which he bought on the internet, as part of his display at the Moma PS1 gallery in Long Island City, New York, in conjunction with shows in Rome and Los Angeles. He plans to project videos on to the reassembled building.

But more than 2,000 of Montegiordano’s inhabitants have filed a complaint and transportation of the dismantled church to the US has been blocked.

The artist, who says he is in possession of all the necessary paperwork and permits, told Corriere Della Sera newspaper that “the church was lost in scrubland and I’m taking it to the Moma PS1; isn’t it better there?”