New sculpture installed at East Naples intersection

COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. - A new sculpture was installed at a busy East Naples intersection as Collier County’s first-ever public art piece.

The 15-foot sculpture is on the corner of Collier Boulevard and US 41.

For Hungarian sculptor, Marton Varo, the task of designing a 22-ton marble sculpture on that intersection was different from his usual work.

“You cannot put something, which would really distract that much attention. Because some guy will be driving and say. ‘Oh, that’s a nice toosh.’ And BAM,” he said.

The sculptor is known for his figurative art, draped female figures.

The sculpture will be used as a welcome sign to visitors into the Greater Naples Area. Barb Kaufman, a passerby on her bike said, “I just think it’s something nice to have at the corner as you’re walking or riding or whatever. It’s eye-catching, but not distracting for drivers.”

Varo worked with County Commissioner, Donna Fiala to raised $250,000 from five local businesses and developers to fund its creation and installation. Coincidentally Varo named the piece “La Donna”, which translates to “The Woman” in Italian.

“We checked with people that might benefit by it. For instance, the developments that are by it, some really nice developments… Fiddler’s Creek and Lely Resort, and Valley Water’s.” Fiala said. “We came up with the price that we feel everyone can (afford), if you divide it up into pieces, it wasn’t a very big chunk at all.”

Fiala said La Donna’s upkeep will come out of taxpayer’s pockets annually. That amount is unknown at this time.

La Donna’s formal unveiling is slated for this Friday at 11 a.m.

You can find more of Varo’s work locally at NCH’s Hope and Courage Garden.