Greece, or Hellas as we say in Norwegian (and also in ancient Greek), has an island in the north-west part of Aegean sea called Thà sos. It is about 440 km² and rich in mountains. Inside the mountains the cleanest and strongest white marble can be found: the Thassos marble.
Hel- (Hel-ios = sun) is an ancient word for 'shining'. Las- is the word for 'stone'. So the Ancient Greeks named their country 'Shining Stone'.
Between 1991 and 1998, 303600 cm³ of this marble was taken from the island and permanently placed in four European cities: Oslo, Lodz, Berlin and Derry. Each installation is titled angel. The marble was divided into four, and then divided again, making sixteen pieces in all, four for each site. Set together, the four slabs have an overall outer size of 230 x 110 cm and are just three centimetres thick. The four slabs are separated by a space of 22 cm between them. These two lines of 22 x 230 cm and 22 x 100 cm meet and form a cross. The slabs are installed flush with their surrounding surface. The empty space between – the cross shape – is formed by the material the slabs are laid into, grass, snow or concrete from the existing wall.
From ancient times the Thassos marble has been used by people in Europe and Asia.
A lot of Thassos marble work can be found in Italy and Turkey because the island belonged to Venice from 1204 – 1453 and was controlled by Turkey until 1920 when it was finally returned to Greece.
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