Sculpture park of Nagyharsany
The quarry pit, full of non-figurative statues, is quite a spectacle. In 1967, in the derelict quarry of Szársomlyó hill, work was begun by sculptors-whose experimentalism did not suit the style accepted at that time for sculptures displayed in public places.
The initiative of the young artists gained the support of the then local and county leaders; Gyimóthy Villa, situated close to the quarry, was renovated and made available to the artists, and in 1968, following western patterns, the Baranya Artists’ Communities was officially established.
In 1970 the group of the artists working in the Villány artists’ colony became international, and sculpture became the focal activity. The number of art works created in the Statue Park grew continuously.
The cliff walls of the querry pit, the huge grassy pit base and the beautiful panorama all suggested that this place should not only be a location where pieces of art were created but also an attractive venue for the exhibition of the sculptures. The quarry could accommodate works well-suited to the dimensions of the pit, works which were being shaped before the very eyes of the growing number of tourists interested in the activity pursued here.
The organisation of the statues into an “exhibition” was started by large-scale environment transformation work within the framework of the symposia. Before that no functional land-art work created by artists had ever been cerried out in Hungary created by artists. As a rule the sculpture is designed by one person, the environment by another, and the implementer is usually yet another person.
Through joint planning, the present arrangement of the enlarged territory of the sculpture park was completed. The southern side of the hill can be approached from the left-hand-side turning point of the quarry pit, from where two paths run. One leads to the upper “avenue”, the other to the theatre and rest area. The lower avenue can be found behind the earth walls of the open-air theatre.
The early 1990s saw the initiation in Hungary of the “Put statues in the place of removed political monuments” movement. Several Hungarian cities and towns now boast public statues made here by Hungarian and foreign artists, statues erected to replace the removed political monuments. The participants of the 1st Sculptors Symposium of Three Countries – an Austrian–Hungarian–Slovakian symposium – placed groups of statues at the meeting points of the three respective countries.