Although Italian artist Marcello Minelli died late last week, his work will be paraded through the borough annually for years to come.
Minelli, 96, was an artist from Gubbio, Italy — Jessup’s sister city — who crafted the 9-foot-tall golden arches behind the statue of St. Ubaldo that is carried in a procession before the annual La Festa dei Ceri on St. Ubaldo Day, said Michael Cappellini, vice president of the St. Ubaldo Society.
The statue was completely handcrafted and designed in Gubbio by local artisans, Cappellini said. Jessup received the statue from Gubbio in 2013.
“Everything is done out of pure love and devotion to our patron,” he said. “And that enthusiasm, that desire, that love, that passion is directly emulated in the art that that Marcello and every artist puts into it.”
The annual Race of the Saints, originally scheduled for May 29, is canceled for the second year, but the society will still host a virtual event, Cappellini said. More information will be available at saintubaldosociety.org, and residents are encouraged to put out their flags for St. Ubaldo Day by May 1, he said.
— FRANK WILKES LESNEFSKY