Manuscript of Monte Cassino

The Manuscript of MonteCassino, aka the 'Big Foot' is a three-piece sculpture outside St Mary's Roman Catholic Cathedral.

The sculpture is an allegory of a pilgrimage - the foot which travels and the connecting ankle and the hand receiving alms or hospitality; the sculpture also makes reference to giant Ancient Roman sculpture on Capitoline Hill in Rome.
On the hand is a ball with geometric indentations relating to genetic engineering, perhaps an allusion to 'plenty', but also two locusts coupling referring to the plague of locusts in the Bible. It is designed to collect rain water and allow children would play on the sculpture.

Professor Sir Eduardo Luigi Paolozzi (March 7 1924 - April 22 2005) the sculptor, was born at 6 Crown Place next to the old Leith Central Station, fragments from this building surround the sculpture. His family came from the Monte Cassino area of Italy which was devastated during World War II. He became Her Majesty's Sculptor in Ordinary for Scotland in 1986 and was knighted in 1989.

It was funded by Tom Farmer CBE and the City of Edinburgh Council, and inaugurated on the 6 September 1991. It was cast in Germany at the foundry of HUGO KTTL.

Paolozzi said of the work 'Edinburgh, with its fine historic architecture must be complemented with works of suitable grandeur, with sculpture of the right scale and material on a theme that reflects the everlasting inspiration that the city has drawn upon from classical models… The foot can be considered to be inspired (or re-invented) by the foot of Constantine in Campidoglio in Rome.
On the site I can see these very parts of the landscape that were the back-cloth to my childhood. A great deal has disappeared, which makes it a privilege to add something significant to what might have become an urban gap…'

A text panel reads: "A manuscript at Monte Cassino addressed to Paul the Deacon. Letter from my hand / Go now with swift and easy flight / As you pass without delaying / Through woods, hills and valleys / Seek out the welcoming house / of Benedict, loved by God. / There the weary always find rest; / for guests there is an abundance / of garden herbs, fish and bread. / Among the brethern there is consecrated peace, / lowliness of heart, / and uplifting harmony / as they come together at every hour / to offer praise to Christ / in love and adoration."
 

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