Saimir Strati completes giant St. Teresa mosaic on Independence Day

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times November 29, 2016 15:24

Saimir Strati completes giant St. Teresa mosaic on Independence Day

stratiTIRANA, Nov. 29 – “Peace begins with a smile” is the Mother Teresa quote Albanian artist Saimir Strati has engraved on a giant “Saint Theresa” mosaic dedicated to the famous nun of Albanian origin declared a saint by Pope Francis this year, in a work inspired by the migrant crisis in Europe which the nine-time Guinness World Record holding artist unveiled on Nov. 28, Albania’s Independence Day.

Using more than a million of staples on a 10 m2 wood platform, the artist has created a smiling portrait of Mother Teresa, paying tribute to her humanitarian work to helping the poor all her life which won the famous nun the Nobel Peace Prize in the late 1970s.

Strati, 50, completed the mosaic set to earn him a 10th Guinness World record, at Prishtina’s Kosovo Museum, where the artwork will remain on display. He says he was inspired by the migrant crisis in choosing stapes as industrial material to create the portrait.

“I have often read and watched massive departures of migrants from the Middle East and other countries. Somewhere in a European country, there was barbed wire preventing them. And that’s when I thought that only our Mother Teresa could save these people,” Strati has told Vatican Radio in the local Albanian service.

“I would call this the Mother Teresa year. We can never do what she did, but we can do something even by raising awareness on showing that we love peace and are peaceful,” says Strati, who has donated the artwork to the Museum of Kosovo.

“I wouldn’t have been able to create this great work without your hospitality and love. I have exceeded my expectations,” Strati said after unveiling the work at a ceremony on Monday Nov. 28, when Albania marked its 104th independence anniversary.

Skender Boshtrakaj, the director of the Kosovo Museum, said he would propose special protection for Strati’s work.

The Kosovo National museum is set to enter the Guinness Book of World Records as the working space where the largest metal button mosaic was created.

Saimir Strati previously set nine Guinness World records for the largest mosaics using nails, toothpicks, corks, sea glass, eggshells, compact discs, coffee beans, porcelain and mirror glass among other materials featuring portraits of ancient Greek poet Homer, Italian Renaissance artist Leonardo Da Vinci and late pop star Michael Jackson among others.

The artists says his love for mosaics started at a young age when he visited the ancient archaeological park of Apollonia, the second largest in Albania, fascinated by its 3,500 year-old mosaics.

“Using industrial easily available materials is one of the Guinness conditions. Today, we are witnesses of art being industrialized, but I am doing the opposite creating art with industrial materials,” says Strati.

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times November 29, 2016 15:24