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karin-van-ommeren-marbre-saint-beat                                                                                    the quarry of Rap

The village of Saint-Béat is situated in the south of France in a beautiful narrow valley of the Garonne and  is surrounded by mountains rich of  marble.  At the time of the Romans the place was well-known as “Passus-Lupi” (Passage of the wolfs) and famous for its quarries.The marble was used to built Roman towns as Lugdunum Convenarum, which is called Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges today.

karin-van-ommeren-saint-beat

                                                                                                            Saint-Béat
Later on the marble was used for many monuments and palaces. During Louis ⅪⅤ  it was used for the fountains and sculptures in Versailles.Today new quarries are used in Saint-Béat. The quarry of Rap ,in the mountain of Rie, is one of the biggest underground quarries . It is almost 40 kilometers long and divided into different floors.karin-van-ommeren

Since the year 2000 the “Association Marbre & Arts” (www.marbre-et-arts.fr) organizes a festival of sculpture and marble (“Festival de la sculpture et du marbre”) in Saint-Béat. During three weeks every summer the village becomes again “the city of marble” and the marble of Saint-Béat has again all the attention, for its history and as material for contemporary sculpture. And every year a monumental sculpture is placed permanently in town and this year I had the honour to make a sculpture for Saint-Béat.