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Muriel Mayette Holtz installation among The Immortals of France

“The sword we have designed with Anastasia Kucherova to accompany Muriel Mayette-Holtz at the inauguration ceremony at the Academy of Fine Arts of France is a long wooden sword, inspired by the "War of buttons" by Louis Emile Pergaud and the extraordinary cinematographic version of Yives Robert (1962), a film that accompanied and disconcerted my childhood.

The wooden sword was made by Maurizio and Davide Riva who are among the greatest wood craftsmen in the world - using only one piece of ancient wood, Kauri (Agathis Australis), a type of conifer alive only in the subtropical climate of New Zealand whose first specimens appeared in the Jurassic period - about 190/135 million years ago.

The Kauri are among the largest trees in the world, they are actually 70 meters high and have a diameter of nine meters. The Kauri wooden sword, extracted from a wood mine in New Zealand, deriving from a 50,000-year-old stock.

Muriel's wooden sword represents in its simplicity the complex and eternal idea of theatrical fiction, which pursues and anticipates real life with the strength of a very long past and the taste for a play that seeks and at the same time escapes any disciplinary order”.

Stefano Boeri