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Ghostly Basilica Resurrects Ancient Church in Eerie Wire Mesh

Jul 11, 2016 02:32 AM EDT

A spectral church rises from the dusky earth in the Archaeological Park of Siponto in Apulia, Italy. Images of the phantom-like structure on Slate and other websites are making the rounds, calling attention to the visionary work by Edoardo Tresoldi, an artist from Rome.

The work named "Basilica di Siponto" is a structure formed out of sheer wire mesh. The project brings to life a twelfth-century church that once stood on the spot.

The early Christian church vanished after the 13th century, when the town of Siponto suffered earthquakes that caused the townspeople to flee. Ruins of the basilica's central apse, three naves and a mosaic floor have served as a reminder that the abandoned place was once the seat of a major diocese.

Apulia is known to possess many areas of great archaeological significance, and Siponto certainly counts as one. Its origins go back to antiquity. In 194 BC, Siponto became a Grecian colony of the Roman Empire. Then known by the Greek name of Sipious, it flourished as an important port of the region. It later came under the control of the Byzantines, then the Saracens, then the Normans.

Today, Siponto is an archaeological site. In an effort to create interest in the Siponto ruins, the park commissioned Tresoldi to put up his structure, a kind of three-dimensional rendering of the artist's interpretation of the historical basilica.

Tresoldi entitled the project "Where Art Reconstructs Time." quotes the artist on his conception of the work: "The path began with a research of historical records with experts, archaeologists and professionals of cultural heritage. When this topic came into my world, I began to imagine a sort of return of this great building, as if it were part of the historical memory of the place. I envisioned being able to draw in the air, while maintaining direct relations with this territory."

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