BETWEEN HISTORY AND LEGEND
CHRIST OF THE ABYSS
1938 – A lifeguard, a sea “fanatic” and a boy.
No fins, a mask made from an air chamber and a kind of net.
They dive to recover fishes’ victims of bombers. They don’t know yet but, they are some of the people who invented diving.
Then, Duilio Marcante - the lifeguard - commits to improve and codify the first diving techniques; Egidio Cressi - the fanatic - builds the first spearguns and the first, real mask, Dario Gonzatti - the boy - conceives something similar to the future regulator, with the idea to connect it to a compressed air bottle.
War stops everything.
1946 – They believed that the correct path was the oxygen rebreathers, used by the italian navy seals (Ferraro, De La Penne and their colleagues) so, they abandon the idea of the compressed air.
Marcante has the ideas, Cressi builds, Gonzatti tests. So, the recreation oxygen rebreather is born however they don’t know its limits. In front of San Fruttuoso Dario Gonzatti ascends, lifeless, from a pure oxygen dive at -42 meters.
It is the 21st of September 1947.
It has been a memorable summer, made of fabulous fish catches, discovers, brilliant inventions.
Back from the funeral, to honor his very close friend, Marcante dives in the tragedy waters and he conceives the idea of the Christ of Abyss.
Now Christ of Abyss is there, to remind a precursor, a glory dedicated to those who sacrificed their life, in the sea and for the sea. The statue was crafted in bronze from melted down metal of important origins: parts of sank ships, bells, and the medals of mariners, Olympic athletes, donated by people who know the sea.
It is still there, lowered on the bottom of the sea on August 29, 1954 among the shouts of the alarms of the surrounding ships, with flower wreaths, his arms raised which seem to beg that surface which many, too many did not reach anymore.
Luigi Fabbri – September 1977
The Christ of Abyss bronze statue, made by the Genovese sculptor Guido Galletti, it is 2,5 metres (8.2 ft) high and it is welded on a reinforced concrete foundation which weight 90 tons, cemented to the seabed. It is submerged in front of the east point of San Fruttuoso bay in Liguria, Italy and his head stands at 12 (39.36 ft) meters below the sea surface.