Materdei Metro Station

As part of the Triennial Agreement between Friends of Naples, the city’s public transportation system ANM and the Municipality of Naples for the safeguarding, conservation and enhancement of the contemporary public art heritage of the Materdei station of Line 1 of the Naples Metro, an important milestone has been reached which was financed entirely by donations from Friends of Naples members   : completion of the restoration of Ettore Spalletti’s “Colonna persa” and “Splotch, Non geometric form # 8” by Sol LeWitt.


This latter sculpture is part of a series of works that LeWitt created from 1999 to 2005 with the sculptor-producer Yoshitsugu Nakama, who translates the artist’s two-dimensional hand-drawn projects which LeWitt defines as “footprints” into three-dimensional forms.Splotch # 8 was covered with a thick carbon deposit due to constant exposure to the fine dust generated by the transit of trains combined with the air currents that occur when the trains pass. The three fragile and light bodies of its composition were disassembled and cleaned on-site.  Small raised flakes of color have been made to re-adhere to the structure and integrated in tone in the missing areas by the students of the Accademia di Belle Arti of Naples under the scientific coordination of Prof. Giovanna Cassese.

We also would like to thank our patrons Gianfranco D’Amato and Alfonso Artiaco who financed a new protective case for the structure, designed by Lucio Turchetta. Spalletti’s work, Colonna Persa, is composed of an inverted truncated cone and a parallel piped in black Belgian marble, a brass star with golden foil, a backdrop and a shaped tile in white Corian.This work, like the previous one, being situated in the city’s metro station, is constantly exposed to the presence of fine dust that conveys the carbonaceous particles onto the elements, triggering an acceleration of degradation. It is also exposed to the continuous passage of travelers and, unfortunately, to vandalism. The marble elements, dirty and opacified, together with the stained, yellowed and scratched backdrop, were cleaned and protected with a light layer of microcrystalline wax and lastly polished with woolen cloths that restored the marble elements to their original brilliance.

The activities of the association continue, as specified in the agreement, through regular maintenance interventions of the appurtenances and exits of the Materdei metro station with the involvement of other associations and neighborhood residents, and through fundraising campaigns aimed at financially supporting  restoration of other works in the station created by the most prestigious of contemporary artists.

Time of realisation
June 2021 – ongoing
Collection target
7500 €
Collaborations and partnerships
The Academy of Fine Arts of Naples, Naples’ public transport system ANM, and the Municipality of Naples.