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A difficult move with a tight schedule? Piece of cake for Gosselin
Moving a three-meter-long statue that weighs about 4,000 kilograms all the way from Belgium to Venice is a project that normally requires several weeks of preparations. Barbara Savelli of Gosselin Italy only had one week to get the job done. And while Venice is a lovely city from a tourist perspective, it certainly isn’t an easy one from a logistics point of view. The project resulted in a wonderful collaboration between Gosselin Moving and Heavy.
Renowned Belgian artist Arne Quinze created a sculpture for the Venice Biennale, a famous international art and cultural exhibition held every two years. Several delays made for a difficult situation however, and one that could only be managed by experienced movers, solid logistics coordination, and specialized equipment. This is where Gosselin came in. “The hardest part was obtaining all the right permits and authorization from the police to move the sculpture through the city,” Barbara Savelli explains.
Venice is a city bustling with tourists, but moving this statue required the temporary closure of all restaurants and bars since the many outdoor areas blocked the way. Barbara was only able to get a permit and police escort until 11 a.m. since the city didn’t want to keep local businesses closed for too long after all the losses of income these owners suffered during Covid. “We started at 4 a.m., first loading the statue from the Belgian truck onto a pontoon and later transporting it through the city using two cranes. There were some additional delays due to very foggy conditions in the morning, but we finished the job around 10:30 a.m.,” says Barbara.
To make matters worse, the shortest route, which had the statue crossing the Ponte di San Giuseppe, wasn’t possible because the bridge could not support the weight of both the statue and the heavy equipment being used to transport it. Barbara’s team opted for a route that was 700 meters longer, down Via Gribaldi, which required an additional crane and a few extra workers to operate the special equipment. “We could only drive on the right side of the street and ensuring additional protection for the ancient pavement. We built a road in front of the truck but we naturally don’t have 700 meters worth of portable pavement at our disposal. So, we ended up having to disassemble it behind the truck and then reassemble it in front of it. This was a non-stop process, and caused the whole move to progress very slowly.”
Despite the many difficulties, Barbara received compliments from both the artist Arne Quinze and the curator of the art event. “It’s all about experience and having the proper equipment,” Barbara summarizes. “Disasters can happen very easily, but our operators know their cranes inside and out. They can maneuver objects weighing 4,000 kilos as if they only weighed 20 kilos. Everything went smoothly, in spite of the tight deadline. It was a great experience and I hope we can help move the statue back in November.”
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Gosselin is a leading provider of international moving and destination services. Our clients are multinationals, relocation management companies, expats, diplomats, military personnel and private persons. With 56 offices in 34 countries, Gosselin has a strong presence in Europe, Eastern Europe, Russia, the Caucasus, and Central Asia.
Gosselin is a division of the Gosselin Group that has its headquarters in Antwerp, Belgium. The company was founded in 1930 and employs a staff of 800 that generates more than 270 million Euros in sales.