A Carrara marble quarry

Carrara marble
A Carrara marble quarry
Carrara marble is a type of white or blue-grey marble popular for use in sculpture and building decor. It is quarried in the city of Carrara in the province of Massa and Carrara in the Lunigiana, the northernmost tip of modern-day Tuscany, Italy.
Carrara marble has been used since the time of Ancient Rome and it was called the “Luni marble”. In the 17th and 18th centuries, the marble quarries were monitored by the Cybo and Malaspina families who ruled over Massa and Carrara. The family created the “Office of Marble” in 1564 to regulate the marble mining industry.The city of Massa, in particular, saw much of its plan redesigned in order to make it worthy of an Italian country’s capital.Following the extinction of the Cybo-Malaspina family, the state was ruled by the House of Austria and management of the mines rested with them. The Basilica of Massa is built entirely of Carrara marble and the old Ducal Palace of Massa was used to showcase the precious stone.
By the end of the 19th century, Carrara had become a cradle of anarchism in Italy, in particular among the quarry workers. According to a New York Times article of 1894, workers in the marble quarries were among the most neglected labourers in Italy. Many of them were ex-convicts or fugitives from justice. The work at the quarries was so tough and arduous that almost any aspirant worker with sufficient muscle and endurance was employed, regardless of their background.
Birmingham’s King Edward VII Memorial was carved from a large piece of Carrara marble.
Adelaide’s first street statue, a copy of Venere di Canova, was carved from Carrara marble.
The marble from Carrara was used for some of the most remarkable buildings in Ancient Rome:
• Temple of Proserpina – later reused in many buildings in Valletta
• The Pantheon
• Trajan’s Column
• Marcus Aurelius
It was also used in many sculptures of the Renaissance including Michelangelo’s David whilst the statue to Robert Burns, which commands a central position in Dumfries, was carved in Carrara by Italian craftsmen working to Amelia Paton Hill’s model. It was unveiled by future UK Prime Minister Archibald Primrose, 5th Earl of Rosebery on 6 April 1882. Other notable occurrences include:
• Marble Arch, London
• Victoria Memorial, London
• Some sections of the Palace of the Marqués de Dos Aguas, Valencia, Spain
• Prem Mandir, Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh, India
• Duomo di Siena, Siena, Italy
• Sarcophagus of St. Hedwig, Queen of Poland, Cracow, Poland
• Manila Cathedral (interior), Manila, Philippines
• First Canadian Place, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
• Sheikh Zayed Mosque, Abu Dhabi, UAE
• Harvard Medical School buildings, Boston, Massachusetts, US
• Oslo Opera House, Oslo, Norway
• Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial (Crosses and Stars of David), Normandy, France
• Peace Monument, Washington, DC, US
• King Edward VII Memorial, Birmingham, UK
• Akshardham, Delhi, India
• Aon Center (Chicago) Chicago, Illinois, US
• Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, US
• Robba Fountain, Ljubljana, Slovenia
• Finlandia Hall, Helsinki, Finland
• Devon Tower, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, US
• The Rotunda (University of Virginia), Charlottesville, Virginia, US
• Palacio Legislativo (Uruguay), the seat of the Uruguayan Parliament
• Carrara Marble Staircase, Glasgow City Chambers
• Carrara Marble Staircase, Glasgow City Chambers
• Far Eastern University, Manila, Philippines—Administration Building
• The Rome Italy Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
• Glasgow City Chambers, Scotland
Carrara marble has been designated by the International Union of Geological Sciences as a Global Heritage Stone Resource.
From a design perspective, Carrara marble has been a popular choice in places such as Italy for millennia. The purer the carrara marble (meaning the whiter it is with less trace minerals), the more prized it is for sculptures, such as Michelangelo’s David. The way the light hits the calcite crystals makes the stone look almost translucent and lifelike.
It’s been used for thousands of years for things from sculptures to buildings to furniture. It’s great for things like chocolate making and pastry baking, as the stone stays cool as you work with it. It also creates a beautiful counter for any kitchen or bathroom application.
As a rule of thumb, Carrara tends to be muddy in color and not pure white. Carrara is also less expensive and more common to find in your everyday marketplace or cut into tiles. Calacatta on the other hand has very bold veining with a crisp white background. While each natural stone slab is unique, Calacatta marble is much rarer than your typical Carrara.
The main appeal of Carrara marble is its look. It is known for its white to light grey coloring with grey veining.
Bhandari Marble Group brings you the finest quality naturally occurring colored stones & slabs i.e from the marvelous marble to the sturdy sandstone from the tough pavings to the beautiful rainforest marble, from the classy international marble to our exclusive Indus Beige, all of these are sourced from corners of globe. Our selection of stones like marbles & granites are famed for their eye catching shades and excellent texture, which makes them an ideal option to decorate your home.

The Carrara quarries have produced more marble than any other place on earth. Bhandari Marble Group is always ready for the customer quarries at any time. We are the largest and oldest group of marble, granite and natural stone.
The prize yield from Carrara quarries through millennia has been Statuario, a pure white marble, coloring in other marbles arises from intermixture with other minerals present in the limestone as it is converted to marble by heat or pressure. However, by the end of the 20th century, the known deposits of Statuario near Carrara are played out. The quarries continue to remove and ship up to a million tons/year of less-esteemed marble, mostly for export.
Bianco Carrara classified in C and CD variations as well as Bianco Venatino and Statuarietto are by far the most common types with more expensive exotic variations such as Calacatta Gold, Calacatta Borghini, Arabescato Cervaiole and Arabescato Vagli quarried throughout the Carrara area.

A Carrara marble quarry

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