A HUGE BULL IN THE BASIN OF SAN MARCOFrom: 14-02-2012 To: 14-02-2012
Since February 4th, a massive 9-meter-high wooden has been positioned on a floating barge in Venice for Carnival 2012. This new symbol of the carnival festival, a spectacular giant machine designed by renowned artist, sculptor and Venetian mask maker Guerrino Lovato, is intended to resurrect one of the oldest Venetian traditions related to the history of the city and Carnival.
Every year for centuries the Patriarchate of Aquileia gave Venice a bull, 12 loaves of bread and 12 pigs to be used for a public spectacle. This was the tribute that Aquileia had to pay the Serenissima for having dared to occupy Grado in 1162, which was then promptly recaptured by the Venetians. And so, for centuries, there was a bullfight in Saint Mark’s Square on Maundy Thursday: “The sacrifice of the Bull,” during which the Blacksmith’s Corporation, which had distinguished itself in the liberation of Grado, had the privilege of “cutting off the head of the bull.”
The allegory of the bull is being reproduced during Carnival 2012 through the rearing wooden bull that will on a floating barge off of Punta della Dogana for the entire festival. Then on the night of Mardi Gras at the end of the “Vogata del silenzio” (the silent water parade), the bull will be brought in front of Saint Mark’s Square and sacrificed in a huge bonfire to symbolize the end of Carnival. TD