Capital of Culture

“The Madonna made of salt stone will soon melt”

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09.07.2024 16:00

On Saturday, a sculpture that Dirk Schlichting made from a large block of salt over the last few weeks will be unveiled in Roitham am Traunfall; it will be left to the wind and weather. The Capital of Culture project inspires - and moves to tears.

Until Friday, tapping and hammering will continue in the pavilion on Raiffeisenplatz in the middle of Roitham am Traunfall. Dirk Schlichting has already spent more than 100 hours shaping a figure. "I'm making a Madonna from a block of salt stone from the mine in Altaussee," he says.

The 500 kilogram boulder, which Schlichting found in the mountain himself, was brought to the shore of Lake Traunsee a few days ago on a trailer and loaded onto a barge. The stone was shipped across the lake with music and festive accompaniment.

(Bild: Hörmandinger Reinhard)
(Bild: Hörmandinger Reinhard)

Ceremonial unveiling and "miracle salt"
From there it was transported by train and truck to Roitham. Since then, the stone has been worked on with a chisel and hammer. The figure is already clearly recognizable, the facial features are becoming more concrete. "We want to erect the figure on Friday or Saturday," says Schlichting. It will be firmly anchored on a foundation next to the fountain.

On Saturday, July 13 (from 5 p.m.), the "Salt Madonna" will be ceremonially unveiled together with all the people of Roitham, who Schlichting is delighted with: "I'm constantly having conversations. Everyone here is so helpful." Friends and helpers receive a small bottle of "Roithamer Madonnensalz", which consists of chunks that fall off when they are knocked out. You can also buy the bottles.

What touches people: "The salt Madonna is left to the weather as soon as it is finished being erected. The rain will melt the figure over time, perhaps it will be gone after a year. The ephemeral is unfortunately part of my work of art."

This article has been automatically translated,
read the original article here.

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