Industrial Archeology and Alessandro Rossi
Monumento al Tessitore
The monument stands in front of the Duomo at the centre of Piazza Alessandro Rossi. The statue, sculpted by Piedmontese artist Giulio Monteverde in 1879, was commissioned by Alessandro Rossi, a textile industrialist from Vicenza who wanted to dedicate the monument to our good will and to our workers after 40 years together.
The weaver holds a small shuttle, an innovative instrument for loom weaving invented by an Englishman named John Kay in 1733, the shuttle contains a spool of yarn used to compose the weft, greatly simplifying the weaver’s work, thus increasing the textile production and for this reason was considered a symbol of the Industrial Revolution. The statue stands on a granite, octagonal pedestal, and at his feet are three lengths of fabric, the product of his work. Each side bares inscriptions of mottos that clearly define Alessandro Rossi’s social and economic ideals. He was struck by the work of an artist named Monteverde, when he visited the Paris Industrial Exhibition in the spring of 1878, and decided to contact him; after exchanging various letters and drawings in the course of the year, the artist and the client found an agreement. The monument was solemnly inaugurated on September 21st, 1879, the entire city participated in the celebrations, exhibiting flags, carpets and flower garlands and a large number of delegations of Italian textile workers were invited. From that day on, every year, the workers would celebrate this anniversary with the institution of Labour Day. The statue was originally located at the crossroads between Viale Pietro Maraschin and Viale Alessandro Rossi, in front of the entrance to the 19th century manufacturing area. In 1945, after a series of vicissitudes, the monument was moved to Piazza A. Rossi in the heart of the current historic centre. Together with the Fabbrica Alta, the Weaver’s Monument has become a symbolic landmark, and the citizens of Schio refer to the familiar monument as L’Omo (The Man).