ROME (AFP) - A Turin-based artist has spent months sculpting a life-size Fiat 500 car out of a 15-tonne block of white marble in a work he sees as a critique of today's consumerist, throw-away society.
Armed with his circular saw and a face mask to keep away the dust, Nazareno Biondo began work last year, slowly and meticulously hewing out of stone a copy of the iconic "Topolino", the original two-door car that still symbolises, 60 years after its launch, Italy's post-war economic boom.
"It's my biggest work so far," the 30-something sculptor said in his atelier on the outskirts of Turin, which is also home to the famous car brand.
Biondo, who graduated from Turin's Albertina Academy of Fine Arts, specialises in working in marble, and has already carved gold ingots, bundles of dollars and even a Vespa motor scooter out of the white stone.
Once it is completed, probably in a few months, the Fiat work will look like a car ready for the scrapyard, "because my pieces are a reflection of consumerism, of the waste of contemporary society", he said.