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Marcello D'Olivo: Baghdad and Ecotown
June 10, 2009
The inaugural opening of the exhibition of Marcello D’Olivo (Udine, 1921-1991) will be held on Friday 12 June 2009 at 18:00 at the Galleries Project of Palazzo Morpurgo in Udine (a collaborative project of the Udine Gallery of Modern Art and the Festival of Architecture of Parma and Reggio Emilia). The show focuses on two moments in particular that are among the most significant in the artist’s architectonic poetry: the Monument to the Unknown Soldier in Baghdad and the designs for Ecotown, the “ecological city” that was never brought to fruition. The exhibition, along with the museum’s previous shows dedicated to the work of Gino Valle and Raimondo D’Aronco, is part of an effort to promote the international work of Friulian architects, and is sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Embassy of Republic of Iraq in Italy and the Superintendence of Archives of Friuli Venezia Giulia.
The exhibition is divided into two sections and displays the results of a systematic cataloguing of D’Olivo’s designs for the capital of Iraq and for Ecotown from the architecture archives of Palazzo Morpurgo in Udine, along with a vast array of documentation and photographs and a section dedicated to D’Olivo’s paintings. 
In 1979 D’Olivo began his Commemorative Monument to the Unknown Soldier in the heart of Baghdad, commissioned by Saddam Hussein: a project of great sculptural value and a bold structural concept elegantly executed. Period photographs, recent images, original documents and drawings reconstruct one of  D’Olivo’s most extraordinary works, which has survived Iraq’s tragic episodes of war. 
The second section is dedicated to Ecotown, the urban design initially conceived for the area between Padua, Mestre and Treviso. On exhibit are not only the sketches and drawings that have already been published in contexts of architectural design, but also materials which for the most part have never been exhibited and allow for an in-depth look at lesser-known aspects of the architect’s designs.

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