Cave di Carrara

Carrara marble is quarried in the Apuan Alps near the Italian city of Carrara. Universally acknowledged to be one of the finest types of marble, it has been used to produce some of the most significant architectural and sculptural works in the world.

The marble trade has always been the cornerstone of Carrara’s economy. It is renowned across the globe and employed in numerous ways, including in art, construction, furniture and industrial spheres.
In this reportage, I aimed to capture and chronicle the most paradoxically entrancing side of the incredible landscape, bearing in mind the disastrous environmental impact of the quarrying. The superior qualities of the marble have earned the area a reputation as the “Garden of Europe” but at the same time the local people talk of “the disappearing mountains”.

According to the Mountain Environment Protection Committee of the Italian Alpine Club (C.A.I.), more quarrying has been done in the last 20 years than in the previous 2,000 years. This has resulted in as much morphological change in the Apuan zone as would occur in an entire geological era! Quarrying activities have caused the partial or total destruction of caves, reductions to hydrogeological basins and more besides. This is an area that should be protected – especially now it is part of the European Geoparks Network – but instead it continues to face the consequences of actions that split, shatter and hollow out the mountains.