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If stone could speak

From Greek temples through Renaissance churches to skyscraper lobbies in Manhattan, marble was a synonym of beauty, luxury and artistic excellence. It has been with us for thousands of years and has a special place in our minds. It has defined us and helps us to define ourselves.

Much of the Mediterranean history has been written in the dust of footprints that have traced and paced across smooth marble floors. Marble invokes images of sun and sea, of philosophers and artists walking the streets and forums of ancient cities. The roots of our civilization are those of marble. And everybody who walked the forums of Rome on a hot, summer day and touched the white, stripped slates warm from the sun, can feel the connection to the days gone by. But also by touching marble one can touch perfection, perfection that is immortal. Marble does not rust. It crumbles in a way that even in its decay we admire it and we prize marble ruins above all others.


It gives us the feeling of homecoming. No matter from how far we come to the Mediterranean ruins, marble gives us the feeling that we come to our own. It is not just the sculptures, the elaborate ornaments, but also the blocks, the slates that pave the plazas. Even under dirt and sand this stone shines its excellence, because marble is incorruptible. It is also, while maintaining all of its beauty and feeling of luxury, less ostentatious than gold, more humble than silver.


Roman author Vitruvius (80-15 BC) said: “Marble is not alike in all countries.” And right he was – although there are few more universal expressions of beauty and luxury, marble has subtle differences. The Mediterranean marble is colourful and vibrant – men and women have been enthralled by its beauty and sought it out to brighten up their homes. Yellow Siena marble, with its red, blue and violet veins, captures the warm glow of a Mediterranean sunset. Deep red Andalusian marble alludes to the fiery and passionate Mediterranean people and the warm welcome they give o their homes.


Thanks to all those qualities we learned that marble has one more special function. For centuries it encases things that are worthwhile. Things that matter. Marble casing is a mark that what is inside is important, cherished, artistic, personal and also, most importantly, is there to stand the test of time. Greeks worshipped their gods in marble temples; Romans paved their forums and cased their palaces in marble slates; masters of the Renaissance cased their churches in it and even today, when we want to show that something really matters, we give it to the marble. And with it, it will last and survive generations upon generations to be touched again in the warm, Mediterranean sun.

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