We're not crying ... you're crying! In Spider-Man: Far From Home, we got a glimpse of just how big a martyr Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) had become in the MCU after he nobly sacrificed himself to defeat Thanos (Josh Brolin) at the end of Avengers: Endgame. Just as murals were eventually painted to remember the selfless Marvel hero in Tom Holland's second Spidey film, life is now imitating art in our reality ... with even more art.
Italy, one of the main locations in Far From Home, recently erected a statue of Iron Man created by artist Daniele Basso in order to commemorate the hero's cinematic death. Named "Man of Steel" (yes, we know it's a bit confusing what with Superman and all), the sculpture is a touching tribute to the character in his classic superhero landing pose. Standing atop a large marble block in the seaside town of Forte de Marmi, the figure is made of bright stainless steel and brass. The inscription that goes with the piece loosely translates into:
"The first monument dedicated to Iron Man in the year of his cinematographic death celebrates Tony Stark, the man who used his great wealth to fight for the ideals in which he believed ... reminding us that we are the protagonists of our era. That the future of humanity depends on our decisions ... that all of us must be heroes!"
"Art, for me, is an opportunity to communicate important messages through beauty. The opportunity to remind us of our individual and collective identity. To stimulate consciences ... Superheroes talks to the child we always have in our souls. They remember us the sense and the meaning to do the right thing," Basso tells SYFY WIRE. "I like the Tony Stark character, who is not always right. [He's] a man with his imperfections, but uses all his influence and power to help others. So I wanted to remember this, which is my vision, the reason I choose Iron Man to send this message to the community. ... I wanted to remember, [even] in the wonderful and luxury of Forte dei Marmi (and in the crazy and funny Italian summer) the importance of our choices and behavior in everyday life."
The statue first began with a drawing from Basso, who then developed it further with a 3D computer program. From there, he had to build the 13-foot thing by welding together two metals that are very hard to bind to one another, even with heat. In fact, a brand-new process had to be developed in order to make the project a reality. That added an extra six months to the end date, which was literally years in the making. Sadly, Marvel was not involved in any stage of the statue's fabrication.
"This project comes from my personal passion for Avengers movies. And most of my friends are very passionate about comics. I took inspiration, emotion, and information from them about this wonderful world," adds Basso. "Iron Man was perfect to express the message I wanted to share: 'We all are heroes in ordinary life, and we must do our best to preserve our world and the values we believe in for the future we want to live in.' Today, when communication is so fast and problems are becoming more and more global, we need to know who we are to better understand where we want to go. Not just to follow the others. Our opinion is important, and we need to know that, and to exercise it."
A picture of the statue was originally posted on Reddit, but its details were confirmed to SYFY WIRE by Gianmarco Cantinotti, head of marketing and communication for Principe Forte de Marmi a five-star hotel in the Northern Tuscan city. Part of an exhibition entitled "Oltre Verso," Man of Steel will remain in the town until this coming Sunday, Sept. 8.
At this time, there are no plans to bring the exhibit to the U.S., but Basso is hoping he can show it off in Lucca, a town in Central Tuscany. He's also not opposed to making more statues of other Marvel heroes, but wants to stress that even with the epic depictions of comic book characters seen in things like Endgame, regular folks like us are the only ones who can really save the day.
"Yes ... why not?!" he concludes. "At the end [of the day], heroes are going to save the world in fancy [ways]. But we are able to save our world in real life."
Check out more images of the sculpture in the gallery below: