It is a moment in a man’s life when he has to depart from his loved ones and say farewell. If he ever returns then he is recognised
though changed und welcomed. – Homer’s The Odyssey
This monument is dedicated to sailors from Senglea and their families. The sculpture is a symbol of the suffering a sailor‘ s family experiences when it sustains separation.
The artist, Cari Privitera (b. 1971), decided to use lava from Mount Etna as a raw material, which represents resistance to suffering, since lava is the strongest stone found in nature and is resistant to the elements. This raw material is compared to the family which, despite suffering and bearing physical separation, remains firm and united. The mother and the son are seen hugging the father before he sets sail and seek his protection, the three united as one. Beneath them the powerful waves curl. The faces in this sculpture are a universal symbol of mankind.
The lava block, which was formed by an eruption on Mount Etna around 1700, was cut from a quarry in Paterno, close to Catania in Sicily, and weighed 20 tonnes. The artist used a special tool, the helicoidial diamond, to carve this monument, which weighs 9.5 tonnes and whose dimensions are 1.5 m x 2.30 m.