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The slow movement of the shadows silently marks the passing of time in Monclassico and Presson. Here, science and art have teamed up in an ambitious unusual idea, one firmly rooted in millenary tradition however: decorating the town buildings and squares with modern artistic sundials.
The “Le Meridiane” cultural association, which was set up with the intent of discovering and promoting local culture, devised the project and since 2002 has coordinated its various stages and related initiatives, with support from the Monclassico local council and the convinced backing of the locals.
Since then, every summer five artists have been invited to follow their inspiration in creation of a sundial in collaboration with expert gnomonists, the guardians of the ancient science of construction sun clocks. And so a very fine heritage has slowly taken shape that today numbers fifty sundials.
The sundials in Monclassic, all very different in shape, technology and materials, each express the artistic personality of their creator and all together they form a real open-air museum. A heritage that has made this mountain village unique on an international level and a big attraction.
The itinerary has now evolved, allowing visitors to admire the sundials on their own thanks to the many info panels. Underneath each piece is a board giving its technical characteristics and artistic information. In the most picturesque points in the village are info points with boards and panels that explain how to read a sundial, the history of these sun clocks and other interesting facts, and finally the very rare darkroom sundial houses a small interactive, multimedia centre that reveals all the secrets of these ancient instruments for measuring time.