In a demonstration of accuracy and innovation in stone drafting and fabrication, Union Marble & Granite and Precision Stone worked with acclaimed Italian architect and designer Antonio Pio Saracino on his project, “The Guardians: Hero and Superhero,” two 13-foot-high statues installed outside of Bryant Park in New York City.

The “Hero” statue weighs 6,000 pounds, is made from Olympic White Vermont Danby marble, which was supplied through related company ABC Stone of Brooklyn, NY. It was created as an interpretation of Michelangelo’s David. Union Marble fabricated the statue, with Precision Stone providing the drafting, project development, coordination and installation. Picco Engineering of Concord, Ontario, Canada, assisted with the assembly and installation procedures along with lifting devices and calculating center of gravity for each of five preassembled pieces.

 The sculptures soar upward through a system of repeated planes of marble (“Hero”)and polished stainless steel plates (“Superhero”) to address the surrounding skyscraper architecture. The materials that form the figures are stacked, creating an outline that suggests the movement of the figures within their environment.

“We were entrusted to provide the most beautiful selection of Olympic White Marble from Vermont Quarries, with meticulous fabrication and tremendous engineering and coordination to successfully achieve the magnificent result,” explained Jonathan Tibett, owner of the stone-related firms. “We want to congratulate Antonio Pio Saracino for his beautiful design and for asking us to assist him on such a fabulous and worthy project. The level of complexity of making the over 170 different shaped pieces that make up this statue with exact tolerances was no simple task. To achieve proper balance and proportion, we went through many levels of computer generated modeling to ensure symmetry, balance and structural integrity. The installation of this 6-ton piece was done with precise execution — determining exacting pick points to ensure proper engagement of each of the heavy segments. Any minor misalignments would have been catastrophic. The creativity, technology, artisanship and technology utilized on this project were nothing less than heroic from all involved.”

This past December, the sculptures were unveiled in Manhattan at a gala celebration, and they will remain in place indefinitely as an emblem of collaboration between the U.S. and Italy.

“David, such a strong symbol of Italian cultural heritage, [is] now a guardian of the friendship between our two countries,” said Claudio Bisogniero, the Ambassador of Italy to the U.S. “The Year of Italian Culture in the U.S. couldn’t have left a better legacy.”