May 24th, 2014 was a very happening time for Carrara, Italy.
Golden toilets, private jets chartered for special guests, flowers stacked as high as the mountain with the Carrara marble being flawless!
This was the beautiful ceremony of Kanye West & Kim Kardashian!
Kanye West proclaimed two loves that day. One to Kim and the other love to Carrara marble.
Reportedly at the wedding, he featured some intricately carved, cut and crafted marble piano, grand marble table, and 10 nude black marble statues. These were all material quarried from Carrara, Italy by master quarrier and crafters.
That wasn't the only public display of affection towards marble Kanye West had. Aside from his extravagant wedding details, Kanye reportedly demanded a marble floor for his Saturday night live performance! He said: “If I’m going to sing like a stone, I need to feel the stone.”
This passion for marble continued during an episode of "Keeping up with the Kardashians" January 2015. There was a blowout when Jenner allegedly helped herself to a few marble slabs from Kim's stash. The issue was Kanye wasn't able to complete his bathroom which sparked the huge fight.
Throughout the mountain, there are roughly 164 quarries being mined at the moment.
Carrara has a built an impressive legacy through the centuries just as Kanye West expands his own empire through music, fashion, and maybe politics?
‘The city [of Carrara] lives on marble and its citizens breathe its dust.’- Dr. Alison Leitch
We have created a list and some fun facts about Carrara marble's history in another blog if you're interested. You can find the link here: http://www.mikolmarmi.com/blogs/news/fun-facts-about-carrara-marble
Carrara sits at the tip of Italy’s Tuscany region, about 62 miles northwest of Florence tucked into the foothills of the Apuan Alps. Mining of the Carrara quarries began more than 2,000 years ago when slaves used chisels and wooden tools to chop off pieces of the block.
The approximately 64,000 inhabitants of the region are passionate about their relation to one of the world’s greatest natural wonders.
“The city lives on marble and its citizens breathe its dust,” Leitch wrote in her thesis. She noted that the people of Carrara believe the calcium carbonate in marble “cleans and purifies the lungs.
One hundred sixty-four quarries are mined throughout the mountains, generating dozens upon dozens of different kinds of marble, distinguished from one another by their color and veining. Statuario marble, for which Carrara is most revered, forms from pure limestone. The darker varieties tend to have impurities, such as clay, that mix in during metamorphism. Calacatta is one of the rarest and most expensive kinds, which is identified by its thicker veins.
While there are hundreds of marble mines across the globe (from China to India to Vermont), Carrara has produced not only the most marble in the world but the most desirable slabs. For 2000 years, Carrara has been the epicenter of marble production and craftsmanship that was passed on from generation to generation.
One of or close partners that does installation work with us in the U.S. is the Castellucci family who has been in the business for over 200 years with roots in Italy.
As Kanye West and Carrara's continue to make history, they both come from a tumultous past.
A Chicago native, West dropped out of college with no future ahead of him. But as it turns out, he proved everyone wrong by all the accomplishments and being one of the greatest recording artists of the 21st century.
Just as West, the surrounding areas of Carrara was in an anarchic state during the 19th century. An anarchist group nearby Avanza in 1885 was founded Belgian and Swiss revolutionaries.
The Italian minister Francesco Crispi declared a state of emergency in January 1894. This revolution would later be known as the Lunigiana revolt.
Even after the dust settled with the revolt, many radical spirits still remained around Carrara. Quarrymen would go on strikes to improve working conditions. Finally, in 1968, the International of Anarchist Federations was founded in Carrara, Italy.
Carrara marble has had many, many love stories, from artisans to architects to authors, this beautiful rich white wavy stone has attracted all types.
The Pantheon, London’s Marble Arch, the Oslo Opera House, the Peace Monument in Washington, DC, Damien Hirst’s “Anatomy of an Angel,” Rome’s Trajan’s Column, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, the interior of the Freedom Tower — all created with marble from Carrara. Even Dante Alighieri cited Carrara in “Inferno,” the first part of his epic poem “Divine Comedy.”
“I mean taste, culture, art, just the quality in life,” West said on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” in 2013. Which we can't agree more. Marble has it all, taste, culture, art, and quality of life that it represents!
Even Osama bin Laden’s family wanted a piece of the historic quarries, who purchased a company that owned a third of the Carrara quarries in August 2014.
The third largest construction company in the world is Saudi's Binladin Group. Osama's father founded the company in 1931. In 1994, Osama was disowned by his family and expelled from all company proceedings.
The list of marvels continues with Carrara marble. One of the most notable features is Michelangelo's famed sculpture of David carved out of Carrara marble when he was 26 years old.
“This is the type of impact I wanna make on the Earth,” West — who has compared himself to Michelangelo at least half a dozen times — also said on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.
It's ok Kanye! We feel the same way =)
Michelangelo once said, “I see the angel in the marble and set it free.”
A block of the Carrara white marble had been sitting in Florence for decades before Michaelangelo carved David.
“People could want so many things out of you and you don’t want to let people down because of Michelangelo comments and things,” West told SHOWstudio. “You want to deliver genius.”
With our ever-evolving world, Carrara will have some challenges reinventing itself with our technological and modern shift while preserving its rich stories and tradition.
“We want to innovate and we will win someday,” West tweeted in February 2015.
“What I care about is history,” West said on “Late Night with Seth Meyers” in February 2014.
There are several reasons why we chose to work with natural marble, and one of them Kanye West hits hard on. "What I care about is history"
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