Welcome to Africanews

Please select your experience

Watch Live



Concert at Milan theatre features violins made from battered migrant boats

Members of the 'Sea Orchestra' play with cellos made from the wood of wrecked immigrants' boats in Milan, Italy, Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024.   -  
Copyright © africanews
Antonio Calanni/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved


**Inmates at Milan's largest prison are giving new life to battered boat that were rode by migrants by using the wood to make violins, viollas and cellos.

String instruments played by the Orchestra of the Sea in its debut performance at Milan’s famed Teatro alla Scala carry with them tales of desperation and redemption.

The wood that was bent, chiseled and gouged to form the instruments was recovered from dilapidated smugglers’ boats that brought migrants to Italy’s shores.

'Metamorphosis' is a rehabilitation project for detainees - but also pays tribute to the thousands who lose their lives trying to reach Europe.

“This project was born from a question and the question is why them and not me?," Arnoldo Mosca Mondadori, the president of Spirit and Arts House Foundation asked.

"Why were those people, those children, and not my son on that boat? When I saw those children get off the boat in Lampedusa and I learned that those boats got destroyed by the government as special waste, I thought ‘why can't they become a living memory and remind everyone of this drama that could also have been mine, my son’s?’ Because if we were born there, it would have happened to us.”

The instruments were used at the debut performance of the iconic 'Orchestra of the Seas' in Milan's famed Teatro alla Scala.

They represent more than 22,800 migrants who, according to the UN, have lost their lives on the deadly Mediterranean migrant route since 2014.

These are battered migrant boats - the wreckage of Europe's migration crisis.

View more