The extraction of marble from the Apuan Alps in the Carrara region dates back from the first century AD when Romans extracted it under the name of “Marmor lunese”. Initially marble was extracted through primitive techniques, using gunpowder. 1890 was a revolutionary year, as the technique of cutting it with a helical thread began to be used; the technique had been invented 30 years earlier by a Belgian woman and presented at the 1889 World Exhibit in Paris. Since then quarries have developped tremendously, dramatically altering the landscape of the Apuan Alps, which, from a distance during summer seem to be covered in snow – the view of the mountain’s marble heart, laid bare by human will and needs. The 22 kilometers-long railway that enabled the transportation of the blocks of marble to the workshops where they were cut, called “le segherie” was built between 1876 and 1890. The first film in the history of cinematography – the one with the engine that scared the spectators in the first cinemas – was filmed by the Lumiere brothers in this very place. (…)
In 1928, in the region called Canal Grande, in the Carbonera quarry, a unique and memorable event occured in the history of marble extraction in the Apuan Alps. Using the helical thread, a giant block of marble of impressive dimensions…
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