Meet Luigi Lineri, The Wealthy Collector Of River Stones Who Has Amassed An Enormous Collection Over The Course Of The Past Half-Century

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For over 50 years, Luigi Lineri has collected and categorized stones from the Adige River in Northern Italy by shape—human profiles, animal heads, tools, and more.

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Born in 1937 in Albaro, Italy, Lineri now lives in Zevio, near Verona. He worked in a shoe store and later as a hospital assistant until 1985. Zevio is on the Adige River, where he finds his stones.

Since around 1970, Lineri arranges the stones creatively, viewing faces and forms within them, connecting with ancient cultures. His collection, displayed in two rooms and a barn, is often called a sanctuary or cathedral.

Lineri, a self-taught artist associated with the art singulier group, also writes poetry and creates paintings and ceramics. His collection features forms like fish, dogs, sheep heads, and female bodies. Visitors react emotionally to the stones, feeling their energy.

Lineri hopes someone will preserve his collection but contemplates returning the stones to the riverbed as a finishing touch.


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