When it’s lit up at night, Edoardo Tresoldi‘s Basilica di Siponto installation in Puglia, Italy looks like a ghostly apparition of some long-dead piece of architecture. In a way, that’s exactly what it is: the wire mesh structure stands on the site of an early Christian basilica, a church that in the 13th-century made the town one of the most important dioceses in region.
Together with the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities (MiBACT), Tresoldi set out to reimagine the ancient church with just a metal skeleton and layers of mesh. Roman columns, domed roofs, and semi-circular archways all mimic the Apulian-Romanesque architecture typical of the port town of Siponto, as Puglia was known at the time. In the 13th century, earthquakes forced citizens to abandon the area, leaving architectural ruins in their wake. Now the historic park of Siponto is a significant archeological site and only part of the church remains.
Though not an exact replica of the ancient church, Tresoldi’s installation revives a part of the town’s history that was leveled 700 years ago. Reminiscent of South Korean artist Do So Huh’s fabric buildings, the phantom church is open for people to walk around inside its empty halls and translucent corridors. From the photos, it looks almost like the physical manifestation of a memory of the ancient building.