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Edinburgh World Heritage/The Manuscript of Monte Cassino (1991)

The Manuscript of Monte Cassino (1991)


Sited at Picardy Place

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The Manuscript of Monte Cassino is composed of three colossal body parts – a foot, an ankle and a hand. It poignantly explores the destruction brought about by war and at the same time offers a message of peace, hope and regeneration.

Listen to a poem by Christine De Luca in response to the artwork:


Listen to author Alexander McCall Smith talking about the artwork:

Photography © Luigi Giannetti

The text in latin below each sculpture is from the text the ‘Manuscript of Monte Cassino’ from the Abbey of Monte Cassino:

Hinc celer egrediens facili, mea carta, volatu
Per sylvas, colles, valles quoque præpete cursu,
Alma Deo cari Benedicti tecta require.

Est nam certa quies fessis venientibus illuc;
Hic olus hospitibus, pisces, hic panis abundans,
Pax pia, mens humilis, pulchra et concordia fratrum,
Laus, amor et cultus Christi simul omnibus horis.

MS. Of Monte Cassino
Written to Paul the Deacon at Monte Cassino
(translated by Helen Waddell)

Across the hills and the valley’s shade,
Alone the small script goes,
Seeking for Benedict’s beloved roof,
Where waits its sure repose.
They came and find, the tired travellers,
Green herbs and ample bread,
Quiet and brothers’ love and humbleness,
Christ’s peace on every head.

Photography © Luigi Giannetti

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