Empoli – MUVE Glass Museum
Via Ridolfi 70, Empoli
tel. +39 0571 76714
From Tuesday to Sunday 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. Closed on Monday
Fire, earth, air and water. If we wanted to compose a fundamental table of the elements that have formed the base on which civilization grew, we would have completed our job.
But those four elements would be little more than inert materials if we did not add a fifth one, the one that we find in any artifact, tool, process, multimedia description that we can find in the MuVe: man. Inside the museum we imagine it moving right at the center of the "piazza", the traditional hot glass production system.
In front of us, the great glass production of Empoli comes to life. The production of the classic green fiaschi coated with straw, popular wine containers that were produced on the surrounding hills, went alongside a golden season – between the two world wars – in which it became a protagonist of decorative arts.
Just thinking of extracting silica from sand, then melting it with fire's heat and finally shaping it with the vital breath of air is extraordinary. And for this reason, the objects are extraordinary too. From the most humble to the most artistic ones, they all have the same soul, the same creative engine: man, his thought, his work.
Another consideration gives us time for reflection. It echoes the philosophical and apparently distant theory of the four elements and it compares it to our life, which today is dominated by another and devastating component: plastic.
Let's think of how much it is often uselessly used to replace glass and how, vice versa, keeping the four elements alive and close, in this place people used to be ecological, even before ecology existed. You just need to go inside to find multiple examples.