The World’s Most Expensive Book
It’s billed as the world’s most expensive, most beautiful new book.Costing well over $100,000, a 62llb handmade tome depicting the life and work of Michelangelo has arrived at the New York Public Library, fresh from publication in Italy.The velvet- and marble-bound masterpiece will go on public display next Tuesday.Marilena Ferrari, the Italian publisher who produced the book said: ‘I did it because I’m a crazy woman!’Each volume takes six months to craft, using Italian artisan skills dating to the Renaissance.‘Books are being destroyed by the Internet, they’re losing their identity – it’s the modern, Internet version of burning books. Today, things last so little before they disappear.’To make her point, the Michelangelo book has a 500-year warranty – as long as his art has lasted.Entitled ‘Michelangelo. La Dotta Mano’ meaning ‘the learned hand,’ it has a front cover made of white marble from Michelangelo’s favorite quarry, in Carrara.The binding is covered with a red silk velvet handmade by the same shop in southern Italy as the main stage curtains at The Metropolitan Opera and Milan’s Teatro Alla Scala.The text was written by Michelangelo biographer Giorgio Vasari, with an essay about the art by the director of the Vatican Museums, Antonio Paolucci.
The words are printed on paper crafted by one of Italy’s oldest paper mills, where Picasso bought paper for his art.It is filled with photographs of Michelangelo’s drawings and sculptures – creations from the Sistine Chapel ceiling to his very personal poetry.