Xerjoff Magazine

Vespa, an icon of Italian design


A large exhibition dedicated to the Vespa, one of the most recognized symbols of Italian design, is taking place at the MACIST museum in Biella

Since it made its first appearance in 1953 in the famous film “Roman Holiday” directed by William Wyler, the Vespa has been, and still is recognized as, a symbol of Italian design and lifestyle in the world. Currently, the M.A.C.IS.T. museum in Biella (Costa di Riva, 11) has dedicated an exhibition entitled “La Vespa nella Storia e nell’Arte” (“Vespa in History and Art”) on show until June 30th. It is no coincidence that the town of Biella is hosting the event. The origins of Vespa are closely linked to it. The Piaggio industries were located in Biella in the post-war period and so was the Technical Project Office, where the progenitor model of the Vespa was produced: the MP5, better known as “Paperino”. Although the real prototype of the Vespa is the experimental model MP6, requested by Enrico Piaggio and designed by the aeronautical engineer Corradino D’Ascanio, which underwent the first road tests on the hills from Biella to Oropa, at the end of 1945. Besides an important selection of historical “Vespa” produced from the end of the forties to the eighties, the exhibition also displays side-by-side exclusive works of art created by 36 well-known contemporary Italian artists including Maurizio Galimberti, Marco Lodola, Ugo Nespolo. Each artist, through their own artistic expression, such as painting, sculpture or photography, and through the use of the most different materials – from wood to marble, from plastics to iron, from aluminum to lead, from silicone to LED lights, etc. –have interpreted the Vespa according to their feelings and suggestions.The exhibition is curated by Mark Bertazzoli.
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