GRAND ANTIQUE D'AUBERT® MARBLE
Article Date: 01.07.2017
The Grand Antique d'Aubert marble is extracted in Aubert, a village located in Arlege, South of France. The quarry has been opened again after having been closed for 70 years.
Mother Nature created this amazing black and white tectonic breccia about 65 million years ago, following the corrugation of the North Pyrenean area in the Cretaceous Period.
The initial activities in the quarry are dated from the Roman Empire period. The Romans exported this stone, that they called MARMOR AQUITANICUM, in large quantities to Rome and Constantinople. Later, during the Byzantine era, the Grand Antique Marble was largely used for the decoration of the greatest masterpiece of the times: Istanbul's Hagia Sophia.
After this period of great activity, the quarry was abandoned; the remaining columns and blocks were used to decorate St. Peter's Basilica in Rome and St. Mark's Basilica in Venice. Louis XIV loved this material and he had the intention to decorate his Palace of Versailles with it, but he failed in the attempt to find the quarry.
It was rediscovered and re-opened from the nineteenth century to the first half of the twentieth century and then again forgotten. Later it became a lake and the quarry was definitively abandoned and the place was named "TROUC DE DESMEMBRERI", that means the hole of oblivion because of its absolute silence.
It is known worldwide thanks to the famous places where it can be found: some of the great structures that this marble adorns still stand strong. The imposing statue of St. Peter at Westminster Abbey, the tomb of Joseph Napoleon, the columns of the Tarbes Cathedral, the stately Diana Salon (Palace of Versailles), the St. Louis Chapel at Les Invalides in Paris. Jacques-Emile Ruhlmann, the great creator of the Art Deco style, also used Grand Antique a lot in his designs.
Now, it is well known worldwide thanks to the acclaimed Peter Marino architect's concept for the decoration of all new BULGARI jewellery boutiques. This concept was inspired by the Roman Empire and it uses the Grand Antique d'Aubert Marble for all facades of the new Bulgari boutiques all over the World.
Since 2014, ESCAVAMAR has had the exclusive rights for independent excavation of GRANDE ANTIQUE, a prestigious marble from the Pyreness known since Ancient Roman times.