Franco Maria Ricci’s Masone Labyrinth: Borges and a dream
The Masone Labyrinth designed by Franco Maria Ricci in Fontanellato, in the province of Parma, Emila Romagna, will open to the public this May 29.
The complex extends over seven hectares of bamboo maze, and is home to five hundred works of art from the Parma-born designer and publisher’s collection; it also has welcomed the whole catalog of books created by his publishing house, the noted FMR, in half a century of activity. It includes spaces for cultural initiatives and a graphics and typography library showcasing the entire production by publisher Alberto Tallone (1898-1968) and a number of works by the great printer Giambattista Bodoni (1740-1813).
Labyrinths are a long-time favorite of Franco Maria Ricci – as they were for Jorge Luis Borges, who curated the “La Biblioteca di Babele” series for FMR between 1975 and 1985.
Ricci explains, “I first dreamt of building a labyrinth about twenty years ago, when I had the pleasure of lending my countryside home near Parma to a great friend, who also happened to be a precious collaborator of the publishing house I had founded: Argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges. Everyone knows that mazes were one of his favorite themes; the trajectories his hesitant blind feet drew around me made me think about the uncertainties of men who face enigmas and forks in their road. I think the first seed of my project formed by looking at him, and talking with him of the strange paths followed by men.”
Now, Ricci’s dream and project are open for all to enjoy.