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Painted Ceilings

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There are many painted ceilings in the art world, Michaelangelo certainly being the most noted artist with the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican in Rome. Most churches and many, many homes of nobility had ceilings painted, putting them closer to Heaven, perhaps?

I recently had the pleasure of stepping into the main police station in Zurich. No, I didn’t get into trouble…but read that the ceiling was painted by Augusto Giacometti, uncle to Albert Giacometti, famed sculptor. I hate to pass up on seeing the work of a famed, local artist.

The main entrance area is a teaser, part of the ceiling begins there, but after showing an id to the officer on duty, you are free to explore the main hall. Once an orphanage, the building was renovated in 1900 into a municipal building. In 1923, Giacometti was commissioned to paint the walls, columns and ceiling to add vitality to the otherwise, dimly lit space.

The results are spectacular. There are beautiful red, orange, yellow and pink flower designs lining the many vaults. There are four murals, two on each side of the main entranceway, depicting science, math and various forms of labor. It is such a rich space, I could have lingered for hours. The terra cotta hues are soothing, warm and hinted at ancient ancestors, a time of discovery and spiritual awakening. I would definitely put this on the top of the to-do list whenever travels bring you to this beautiful city!

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