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'We Don't Need Another Michelangelo': In Italy, It's Robots' Turn to Sculpt


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A robot being used for sculpture in Carrara, Italy, a city famed for the marble quarried there.

Artists want to perpetuate this idea that they are still chiseling with a hammer, said Giacomo Massari, one of the founders of Robotor, the company that owns the sculpting robots. It makes me laugh.

Credit: Alessandro Grassani/The New York Times

Scientists at the Robotor laboratory in Carrara, Italy, are developing sculpting robots to keep the country on the artistic forefront.

Robotor's Giacomo Massari said the continued prosperity of the Italian marble sculpture segment depends on discarding traditional manual techniques, especially since marble has fallen out of favor in artistic circles.

Michele Basaldella of Robotor said many outstanding sculptors lack distinction because manual dexterity is frowned upon, but robots can create groundbreaking works if they are built "with an artistic sensitivity."

The company's founders initially used robots from local technology companies, but started designing their own from homemade software and German parts when artist clients started ordering increasingly challenging commissions.

From The New York Times
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